Possibility Of Nuclear War

Possibility Of Nuclear War
Possibility Of Nuclear War Image link: https://dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/708827/work-great-power-competition-aims-for-deterrence-not-war/
C O N T E N T S:


  • Our first paper was on the probability side, this one’s on the impact side, and it scans across the full range of different types of impacts that nuclear war could have looking at the five major impacts of nuclear weapons detonation, which is thermal radiation, blast, ionizing radiation, electromagnetic pulse and then finally, human perceptions, the ways that the detonation affects how people think and in turn, how we act.(More…)
  • Not to just point fingers at Russia, this is essentially the same thing the NATO had in the earlier point in the Cold War when the Soviet Union had the larger conventional military and our plan was to use nuclear weapons in a limited basis in order to prevent the Soviet Union from conquering Western Europe with their military, so it is possible.(More…)
  • Donald Trump’s current thinking on North Korea goes something like this: Because the North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, is irrational, the traditional policy of nuclear deterrence – modeled on the Cold War standoff with the Soviet Union – won’t work with him.(More…)
  • Some scientists, such as Alan Robock, have speculated that a thermonuclear war could result in the end of modern civilization on Earth, in part due to a long-lasting nuclear winter.(More…)


  • This map represents targets for an all-out attack on the US’s fixed nuclear infrastructure, weapons, and command-and-control centers, but even a massive strike like this wouldn’t guarantee anything.(More…)
  • Eventually the Air Force agreed to begin using “unlock codes”–codes transmitted at the time of the launch order by higher authority without which the crews could not fire–on the weapons in 1977. (Even then, the Navy held off safeguarding its submarine-launched nuclear missiles in this way for another twenty years.)(More…)



Our first paper was on the probability side, this one’s on the impact side, and it scans across the full range of different types of impacts that nuclear war could have looking at the five major impacts of nuclear weapons detonation, which is thermal radiation, blast, ionizing radiation, electromagnetic pulse and then finally, human perceptions, the ways that the detonation affects how people think and in turn, how we act. [1] The use of a nuclear weapon is now more likely than any time since the worst days of the cold war, but the probability of humanity being wiped out entirely by nuclear war is, for the time being, diminished. [2] That’s where the initiating event and the crisis in this model comes from, it’s this idea that there will be some of event that leads to a crisis, and the crisis will go straight to nuclear weapons use which could then scale to a full-scale nuclear war. [1] The model you’re describing is a model that was used by our colleague, Martin Hellman, in a paper that he did on the probability of nuclear war, and that was probably the first paper that develops the study of the probability of nuclear war using the sort of methodology that we use in this paper, which is to develop nuclear war scenarios. [1] It’s just a really wide array of effects, and that’s one thing that I’m happy for with this paper is that for, perhaps, the first time, it really tries to lay out all of these effects in one place and in a model form that can be used for a much more complete accounting of the total impact of nuclear war. [1]

In order to really eliminate the probability of nuclear war, you would need to eliminate both the weapons themselves and the capacity to create them, and you would probably also want to have some monitoring measures so that the various countries had confidence that the other sides weren’t cheating. [1] Sure enough, in the last five years, the world has changed very significantly that I think most people would agree makes the probability of nuclear war between the United States and Russia substantially higher than it was five years ago, especially starting with the Ukraine crisis. [1] I think I would probably say that the risk is higher now than it was, say, 10 years ago because various relations between nuclear armed states have gotten worse, certainly including between the United States and Russia, but whether the probability of nuclear war is higher now versus in, say, the ’50s or the ’60s, that’s much harder to say. [1]

I remember having conversations with people about this, maybe five years ago, and they thought the thought of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia was just ridiculous, that that’s antiquated Cold War talk, that the world has changed. [1]

At the very, very start of the paper, you guys say that nuclear war doesn’t get enough scholarly attention, and so I was wondering if you could explain why that’s the case and what role this type of risk analysis can play in nuclear weapons policy. [1] Basically, should we be more worried about nuclear war that happens when a nuclear armed country decides to go ahead and start that nuclear war versus one where there’s some type of accident or error, like a false alarm or the detonation of a nuclear weapon that was not intended to be an act of war? I still feel like I don’t have a good sense for that. [1] What are the odds of a nuclear war happening this century? And how close have we been to nuclear war in the past? Few academics focus on the probability of nuclear war, but many leading voices like former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Perry, argue that the threat of nuclear conflict is growing. [1] Can?t say its zero probability of a nuclear war in the world but I?d like to think its simply that, ZERO. [3] The value of breaking it into those four steps is then you can look at each step in turn, think through the conditions for each of them to occur and maybe the probability of going from one step to the next, which you can use to evaluate the overall probability of that type of nuclear war. [1] In the same way, it does not make sense to talk about the probability of nuclear war being high or low — for example 10 percent versus 1 percent — without comparing it to a specific period of time — for example, 10 percent per decade or 1 percent per year. [4] Yeah, we should distinguish between saying what is the probability of any nuclear war happening this week or this year, versus how often we might expect nuclear wars to occur or what the total probability of any nuclear war happening over a century or whatever time period it might be. [1]

On this month’s podcast, Ariel spoke with Seth Baum and Robert de Neufville from the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute (GCRI), who recently coauthored a report titled A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War. [1] Seth is the Executive Director and Robert is the Director of Communications, he is also a super forecaster, and they have recently written a report called A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War. [1]

If we are especially worried about accidental or inadvertent nuclear war, then we should keep nuclear weapons on a relatively low launch posture. [1] Versus if we are more worried about intentional nuclear war, then there may be some value to having them on a high-alert status in order to have a more effective deterrence in order to convince the other side to not launch their nuclear weapons. [1] Because I take the risk of nuclear war seriously, I might’ve been more upset than some people, although I think that a large percentage of the population of Hawaii thought to themselves, “Maybe I’m going to die this morning. [1] I personally don?t support nuclear war, but there are people who are crazy enough to think it is worthwhile (I?m actually thinking of ordinary American citizens, not the Saudis, FYI). [3] I can think of some reasons why maybe we should be worried about that type of scenario, but especially looking at the historical data it felt like those historical incidents were a bit more of a stretch, a bit further away from actually ending up in nuclear war. [1] As they’ve been retold, people like to say we came close to nuclear war, and that’s not always true. [1] His paper was looking at the probability of nuclear war based on an event that is similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and what’s distinctive about the Cuban Missile Crisis is we may have come close to going directly to nuclear war without any other type of conflicts in the first place. [1] Seth : So the first question we can definitely answer, we came up with them through our read of the nuclear war literature and our overall understanding of the risk and then iterating as we put the model together, thinking through what makes the most sense for how to organize the different types of nuclear war scenarios, and through that process, that’s how we ended up with this model. [1] All these things considered, nuclear war if it happens would arise maybe because of terrorist attacks or a hasty move by the U.S. Congress. [3] Now, whether or not we would actually back down or escalate it into an all-out nuclear war, I don’t think that’s something that we can really know in advance, but it’s at least plausible. [1] Then there are the kinds nuclear wars that could potentially trigger a nuclear winter by kicking so much soot up into the atmosphere and blocking out the sun, and might actually threaten not just the people who were killed in the initial bombing, but the entire human race. [1] I do want to touch on what you’ve both been talking about, though, in terms of trying to determine the probability of a nuclear war over the short term where we’re all saying, “Oh, it probably won’t happen in the next week,” but in the next hundred years it could. [1] Having gotten the units right, we might argue whether the probability of nuclear war per year was high or low. [4] The probability of a nuclear war occurring in the next five years is a very small number that is just ever so slightly larger than zero. [3] The paper is a broad overview of the probability of nuclear war, and it has three main parts. [1] The paper, I believe, specifically says that the probability of nuclear war does not get much scholarly attention. [1] Arguably, we shouldn’t be talking about the probability of nuclear war as one thing. [1] Nuclear war is ultra low probability and there?s nothing you can do to further reduce its odds, so stop obsessing about it already. [3] We don’t actually include any numbers for the probability of nuclear war in this paper. [1] Robert : I’m afraid you can’t totally reduce the risk of any catastrophe, but there are ways we can mitigate the risk of nuclear war and other major risks too. [1] We have to, instead, look at all the different types of evidence that we can bring in to get some understanding for how nuclear war could occur, which includes evidence about the process of going from calm into periods of tension, or the thought of going to nuclear war all the way to the actual decision to initiate nuclear war. [1] That may be mistaken, but that’s the impression that I get and that we may be perhaps more fortunate to have gotten through the first couple decades after World War II without an additional nuclear war. [1] While the imminent danger of an all-out nuclear war that would destroy civilization has greatly diminished in the post-Soviet era, there are processes at work that make nuclear war much more dangerous than might first appear. [4] The report examines 60 historical incidents that could have escalated to nuclear war and presents a model for determining the odds are that we could have some type of nuclear war in the future. [1] This was a really interesting paper that looks at 60 historical incidents that could have escalated to nuclear war and it basically presents a model for how we can determine what the odds are that we could have some type of nuclear war in the future. [1] The four steps in this model are four steps to go from a period of calm into a full-scale nuclear war. [1] Our paper then tries to scan across the full range of different types of nuclear war, different nuclear war scenarios, and put that all into one broader model. [1] You guys have also published a working paper this month called A Model for the Impacts of Nuclear War, but I was hoping you could maybe give us a quick summary of what is covered in that paper and why we should read it. [1] Then there is a model that scans across a wide range, maybe the entire range, but at least a very wide range of scenarios that could end up in nuclear war. [1] Then finally, is a data set of historical incidents that at least had some potential to lead to nuclear war, and those incidents are organized in terms of the scenarios that are in the model. [1] As far as whether it’s more likely that we’re going to get into a nuclear war through some kind of human error or a technological mistake, or whether it will be a deliberate act of war, I can think of scary things that have happened on both sides. [1] We are probably as close to nuclear war than we have ever been since WWII. With that said the odds will likely continue to increase as looming issues of climate change impact economies and resources become depleted. [3] As you guys point out in the paper, we’ve had one nuclear war and that was World War II, so we essentially have one data point. [1] Nuclear war, there’s just one data point and it was under circumstances that are very different from what we have right now, World War II. Maybe there would be another world war, but no two world wars are the same. [1] Since we are not in “total war” nuclear war is not likely however there are scenarios that could result in Tactical Nuclear strikes in play right now. [3]

In the U.S. system, there is no institutional check or barrier to the president launching those missiles once he has identified himself to the Pentagon war room using his nuclear codes. [2] You know it is the pressure exerted on Russia and its allies that would trigger a nuclear response however it is unthinkable but I think that if the West continues to press Russia and its allies – for instance in Syria currently it could provoke a response that might escalate to a gloves off war. [3] The only way to survive nuclear roulette is to move beyond war in the same sense that the civilized world has moved beyond human sacrifice and slavery. [4] Robert : Yes, there was, during the Falklands war, apparently, they left with nuclear depth charges. [1] Nuclear weapons make the price of war too high, what demotivates states to ignite any conflict that may lead to the use of this weapon. [3] States that are armed with nuclear weapons would start a war knowing that its consequences can be unlimited. [3] In Iraq, Saddam Hussein dismantled his rudimentary nuclear weapons programme after the first Gulf war in 1991, and Libya?s Muammar Gaddafi handed over his nuclear weapons beginner?s set to the U.S. in 2003. [2] We might not decide to go all-out war over nuclear weapons (assuming none of them are used), but that is not to say that no one would get hurt if the U.S. were angered. [3] Effective doctrine of nuclear weapons implementation makes it possible to achieve the “defensive-deterrent ideal” – conditions, which reduce the possibility of war by increasing its price. [3] China had a war with the Soviet Union over their border some years ago and there was at least some talk of nuclear weapons involved in that. [1] This would be nuclear terrorism or the accidental detonation of nuclear weapons, and even if it did happen it’s relatively likely that they would be correctly diagnosed as not being an act of war. [1] Although war remains possible, the price of victory becomes too high while facing retaliatory nuclear strike, which forces states to behave more carefully. [3] Its been over 70 years since the one and only war where a nuclear attack took place. [3] North Korea has nuclear weapons and the world is closer to nuclear war now than it has since the Cold War–and Americans are not ready for the fallout, experts say. [5] However the premise that all of humanity would die following a nuclear war and only the “cockroaches would survive” is critically dealt with in the 1988 book Would the Insects Inherit the Earth and Other Subjects of Concern to Those Who Worry About Nuclear War by nuclear weapons expert Philip J. Dolan. [6] In the current geopolitical climate, with tensions mounting between the United States and North Korea, the possibility of nuclear war is omnipresent. [7] In 1982 nuclear disarmament activist Jonathan Schell published The Fate of the Earth, which is regarded by many to be the first carefully argued presentation that concluded that extinction is a significant possibility from nuclear war. [6] A 2007 study examined consequences of a global nuclear war involving moderate to large portions of the current global arsenal. 31 The study found cooling by about 12-20C in much of the core farming regions of the U.S., Europe, Russia and China and as much as 35C in parts of Russia for the first two summer growing seasons. [6] Early Cold War -era studies suggested that billions of humans would nonetheless survive the immediate effects of nuclear blasts and radiation following a global thermonuclear war. 2 3 4 5 Some scholars who? argue that nuclear war could indirectly contribute to human extinction via secondary effects, including environmental consequences, societal breakdown, and economic collapse. [6] Models from the past decade consider total extinction very unlikely, and suggest parts of the world would remain habitable. 25 Technically the risk may not be zero, as the climactic effects of nuclear war are uncertain and could theoretically be larger than current models suggest, just as they could theoretically be smaller than current models suggest. [6] “We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth — but neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced. [8] For 13 days, the United States and the Soviet Union were on the brink of nuclear war. [8] Postol asserted, “The United States has created the appearance that it believes it can fight and win a nuclear war against Russia.” [9] The leader of the Catholic Church said he fears the possibility of nuclear war, Reuters reports. [10] It is realistic enough to predict that partisan divides remain intact despite the horror of nuclear war, with Trump acquitted on a party-line impeachment vote, and Mike Pence as president. [11] He is also so worried about the future that he wrote a book explaining how easily Donald Trump could stumble into nuclear war. [11] A nuclear war with Korea is comfortably — or uncomfortably — in this middle range of being neither certain nor impossible. [12] The assumptions made in this book have been thoroughly analyzed and determined to be “quite dubious”. 46 The impetus for Schell’s work, according to physicist Brian Martin, was to argue that “if the thought of 500 million people dying in a nuclear war is not enough to stimulate action, then the thought of extinction will. [6] Besides the obvious direct destruction of cities by nuclear blasts, the potential aftermath of a nuclear war could involve firestorms, a nuclear winter, widespread radiation sickness from fallout, and/or the temporary loss of much modern technology due to electromagnetic pulses. [6] As a result of the extensive nuclear fallout of the 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear detonation, author Nevil Shute wrote the popular novel On the Beach which was released in 1957, in this novel so much fallout is generated in a nuclear war that all human life is extinguished. [6]

I infer that he believes that if the United States stays on its current trajectory (or rather the trajectory it was on when he wrote the book, which was when tensions were particularly high following the North Korean nuclear and missile tests and President Donald Trump?s belligerent reaction to them), the likelihood of war will remain dangerously high. [12] Hawks such as Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham declared that chances are at least 70 percent that the United States will launch all-out war with North Korea if there’s one more nuclear test. [13]

Not to just point fingers at Russia, this is essentially the same thing the NATO had in the earlier point in the Cold War when the Soviet Union had the larger conventional military and our plan was to use nuclear weapons in a limited basis in order to prevent the Soviet Union from conquering Western Europe with their military, so it is possible. [1] As the years have passed since the cold war, it has become increasingly clear that we had several lucky escapes from nuclear weapons use during that era as the result of miscalculation or technical glitches. [2] More recent films, since the cold war, have dwelt on the threat of a single nuclear weapon detonated by terrorists or deranged geniuses or both. [2] From a peak of 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world at the height of the cold war, in 1985, there are now about 14,000, according to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), still enough to end life on the planet. [2] We and the Soviets have amassed a combined arsenal of 50,000 nuclear weapons, equivalent in destructive force to some 6,000 World War II’s, capable of reaching their targets in a matter of minutes, and able to destroy every major city in the world. [4]

Donald Trump’s current thinking on North Korea goes something like this: Because the North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, is irrational, the traditional policy of nuclear deterrence – modeled on the Cold War standoff with the Soviet Union – won’t work with him. [13] The United States and Soviet Union /Russia nuclear stockpiles, in total number of nuclear bombs/warheads in existence throughout the Cold War and post-Cold War era. [6]

Under such a scenario, some of the Earth is made uninhabitable by nuclear warfare in future world wars. [6] A war on the Korean Peninsula would end up being so catastrophic – with as many as 300,000 killed even without the use of nuclear weapons by either side – that the vast majority of experts familiar with Korea believe that diplomacy is the only plausible option. [13]

Taken together, America First and Great Power competition are combustible: an erratic president given to threatening nuclear war against North Korea, combined with a foreign policy establishment that?s pursuing an arms race that will give the U.S. nuclear weapons that are more tempting to use, because they are supposedly more tactical and limited. [14] His comment, made as he flew off for a visit to Chile and Peru, came after Hawaii issued a false missile alert that provoked panic in the U.S. state and highlighted the risk of possible unintended nuclear war with North Korea. [15] To reckon, then, with what the Americans perceive as an unacceptable military threat from the North, and to distract from the ever-growing crisis of Trump?s own presidency, the U.S. leader may indeed soon launch a pre-emptive nuclear war – combining both caprice and theatre. [16] After the summit, the threat of nuclear war remains Last year, nuclear-armed nations opposed the UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. [17] Urge Congress to speak out forcefully against the president’s plans for radical, dangerous, and costly changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy that will make nuclear war more likely. [18] The line separating nuclear war in northeast Asia and a Nobel Peace Prize for the reunification of the Koreas has undoubtedly become very thin under U.S. President Donald Trump. [16] On his daily Facebook Live podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show” Thursday, host and Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire Ben Shapiro asked his audience whether President Donald Trump pulling out of the summit with North Korea will “increase chances of nuclear war” with the communist state. [19]

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had asked the OTA to “examine the effects of nuclear war on the populations and economies of the United States and the Soviet Union,” in such a way that the “abstract measures of strategic power” could be translated into “more comprehensible terms.” [20] Could simmering tensions lead to a full-blown nuclear war? More specifically: could a minor skirmish or conventional war escalate into a full-blown nuclear conflict? Numerous factors suggest that it could–and that the likelihood of nuclear use between the United States and China may be increasing. [18] The report goes on to outline several different scenarios–single detonations, attacks on oil refineries, attacks on military installations, and an all-out nuclear war leading to the deaths of up to 160 million Americans. [20] If the U.S. is absolute in its insistence on a denuclearised Korean peninsula, and if Trump?s caprice does not lend itself to the reunification scenario, then we may well be headed for nuclear war. [16] Asked if he was worried about the possibility of nuclear war, Pope Francis said: “I think we are at the very limit. [15] Somehow, some way, nuclear war is once again a live possibility. [20] Nuclear war with China is not inevitable–but the possibility that it could occur has increased. [18] These and other factors are exacerbated by recent developments between the two countries, including China?s apparent move toward hair-trigger alert –a policy that increases the risk of accidental nuclear war, especially in the early days of its development. [18] The Day After Midnight entered the market in a veritable glut of nuclear war books–at least 130, according to a count by Publishers Weekly–that followed the success of Schell?s work. [20] “No, because the North Korean regime does not want to get into nuclear war with the United States. [19] A combination of peace activism?s successes, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the rise of the other threats that have been lumped together in the war on terror simply pushed the prospect of nuclear war out of sight and mostly out of mind. [20] Because the aftermath of a real nuclear war is unthinkable, we’ve largely refused to think about it. [21] It has Lawrence, Kansas, wiped out in a nuclear war with Russia. [20] Then they’re like, ‘ Can we have some talks? ‘ So, he’s like, ‘ Absolutely, you can have some talks.’ And then, in order to save face, they’re making all sorts of noises about nuclear war. [19] He brought in Randall, and they produced a scenario that focused on two bombs falling near Tampa Bay as part of a large-scale nuclear war. [20] At almost exactly the same moment, a Stanford University physicist, science writer, and book publisher named Michael Riordan was readying another book about the effects of nuclear war for publication. [20] In the report, the story is preceded by a short introduction that explains that the fiction is “an effort to provide a more concrete understanding of the situation that survivors of a nuclear war would face.” [20] ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at “the very limit”. [15] With coverage led by The Boston Globe, physicians participated in public opposition through the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing attention to the nuclear threat. [17]

Some scientists, such as Alan Robock, have speculated that a thermonuclear war could result in the end of modern civilization on Earth, in part due to a long-lasting nuclear winter. [6] In 1945, the United States struck first as they developed and used the first nuclear weapons, killing thousands in Japan to help end World War II. After the war, Europe was carved into spheres of influence, with Russia and its political power and philosophies dominating the east and American and British influence leading in the west. [8] They argue that the foremost nuclear danger of this era is not massive nuclear attacks like those postulated during the Cold War, but “fateful errors.” [22]

“‘North Korea,’ according to Huffington Post, ‘has escalated its war of words with the U.S., repeating a threat on Thursday to call off the planned June 12 summit with President Donald Trump and warning that a “nuclear showdown” could instead be on the table. [19] Last December, the state tested its nuclear warning siren system for the first time since the Cold War. [23] The 73-year history of nuclear weapons — the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War crisis in the 1980s, and now the US-North Korea nuclear confrontation — indicates it is actually idealistic to think that maintaining the current course will have a good outcome. [17]

The presence of nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war are major realities in our society today and will continue to be so in the future. [24] Those who hold exaggerated beliefs about the dangers from nuclear weapons must first be convinced that nuclear war would not inevitably be the end of them and everything worthwhile. [25] ° Facts: Unsurvivable “nuclear winter” is a discredited theory that, since its conception in 1982, has been used to frighten additional millions into believing that trying to survive a nuclear war is a waste of effort and resources, and that only by ridding the world of almost all nuclear weapons do we have a chance of surviving. [25] Nuclear war: What is ‘nuclear winter,’ and how likely is it? Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports. [26] According to the World Economic Forum?s Global Risks Report, Nuclear War, cyber attacks and environmental disasters lead the record of man-made threats to international stability. [27] People consistently reported that they spent more time thinking about nuclear war after watching the movie (Brown, 1984; Cross and Saxe, 1984; Feldman and Sigelman, in press; Reser, 1984; Schofield and Pavelchak, 1984), and they were far less likely to report that they put out of mind the threat of nuclear war (Warner-Amex Qube, 1983, cited in Schofield and Pavelchak, 1985). [28] One commonly suggested possibility is that people cope emotionally with the threat of nuclear war in different ways. [28] With President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un comparing the size and power of their nuclear buttons, the possibility of nuclear war is worrying world leaders more than it has in years. [27] Michigan officials are reviewing their plans for nuclear war amid the war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. [27]

While we may differ enormously about whether more weapons or fewer will more successfully prevent a nuclear war, we agree on the need for its prevention. [24] Today, people no longer believe that the U.S. military has the capacity to prevent heavy damage, probably because they perceive the Soviet Union to be ahead in the arms race and because they believe that a nuclear war cannot be limited (Kramer et al., 1983). [28] We have not begun to fully understand the impact on young people of attitudes and beliefs about the current society, or about their future in it in general, and so at this point it is impossible to parcel out and describe quantitatively and definitively the effect on young people of these attitudes toward the threat of nuclear war alone. [24] Some of the attitudes and concerns that have emerged from interviews questioning young people about the threat of nuclear war are pessimism about the future, fear, hopelessness, and the need to live in the present. [24] It is essential that some attention be made to these inner processes or that people work through the fears and implications of the threat of nuclear war so that we can deal with young people about this threat. [24] Granted, the issue of nuclear war is not central for most people, most of the time. [28] Despite media events such as The Day After, for most people, most of the time, nuclear war is not a salient concern. [28] In the Soviet group, three times as many youngsters felt positive about the possibility of preventing nuclear war than the American students did (75 compared with 25 percent). [24] A realistic simplified estimate of the increased ultraviolet light dangers to American survivors of a large nuclear war equates these hazards to moving from San Francisco to sea level at the equator, where the sea level incidence of skin cancers (seldom fatal) is highest- about 10 times higher than the incidence at San Francisco. [25] Coles’ work emphasizes the importance of in-depth interviews over time and of understanding the full context of the child’s experience in trying to understand the impact of the threat of nuclear war. [24] The nature of the threat of nuclear war is at the same time abstract, outside of the personal experience of adolescents, and yet overwhelming in its horror and scale. [24] In a separate, later section of the questionnaire, there were direct inquiries about the threat of nuclear war and the possibility of survival. [24] Beyond this, it is disturbing to think that the threat of nuclear war in and of itself might be having an impact on our children’s development. [24] People think of nuclear war as somewhat unlikely, imagining mainly complete material destruction, in the abstract, with themselves definitely not surviving. [28] On the whole, however, most people do not frequently think about nuclear war (Fiske et al., 1983; Hamilton et al., 1985a). [28] Antinuclear activists, then, are people who think about nuclear war a lot and think they can help prevent its occurrence, and they are fortified by a sense of personal control and social support for their activity. [28] If one combines people’s estimated probability of nuclear war and their estimated probability of dying, should a nuclear war occur, people are essentially saying that they have about one chance in three of dying from a nuclear attack. [28] Despite high levels of reported awareness about the issues, people report relatively little fear or worry, at least in survey interviews, and most people take no action to prevent nuclear war. [28] The Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 1945 study concluded that the film sensitized people to the issues of nuclear war. [28] Political efficacy and issue salience matter both to people who act to prevent nuclear war and to people who act to survive nuclear war if it occurs. [28] People are considerably more pessimistic about the possibility of nuclear war if a conventional war should erupt. [28] When directly asked the source of their responses to the possibility of nuclear war, people often cite media coverage (Fiske et al., 1983; Milburn et al., 1984). [28] Remaining relatively unworried and inactive, despite the horrific possibility of nuclear war, is not irrational if people are correct in judging that their activism would have no consequences. [28] The average person views nuclear war as fairly unlikely within the next 10 years. 2 A local survey in Pittsburgh found that, on average, people estimated a one-third chance of a nuclear war within their lifetimes (Fiske et al., 1983), and a local sample in Chicago put the estimate at one-half (Tyler and McGraw, 1983). [28] The salience of people’s prior worries about nuclear war can be enhanced by massive media events, such as this one, presumably by increasing the amount of thought people give to their feelings and to their concrete images. [28] The first recent studies started in the late 1970s and indicated that there was concern about the threat of nuclear war in a substantial number of those high-school-aged youngsters that were surveyed. [24] The threat of nuclear war: Risk interpretation and behavioral response. [28] Soviet children and the threat of nuclear war: A preliminary study. [24] In A special issue: Education and the threat of nuclear war. [24] Growing up with the threat of nuclear war: Some indirect effects on personality development. [28] Effects of the nuclear war threat on children and teenagers: Implications for professionals. [28] Increasing concern has been expressed by educators, parents, mental health professionals, and children themselves about what effects the threat of nuclear war may have on children. [24] As yet, no study of the impact of nuclear war on children and adolescents has demonstrated any serious psychopathological effects that have resulted from the threat, nor has any serious large-scale study even attempted that. [24] There is a need for detailed longitudinal prospective studies in systematically chosen samples, including evaluation of the influence of the development, the vicissitudes, the changes, and the effects at various developmental epochs of awareness of the threat of nuclear war and concern about it on youngsters. [24] Psychological effects of living under the threat of nuclear war. [24] All of the quantitative studies discussed above concur in demonstrating that a significant number of youngsters report serious concern about the threat of nuclear war. [24] There are a number of compelling individual anecdotal reports about distress 25, 34 resulting from the threat of nuclear war, but there is no quantitative evidence on this question. [24] The threat of nuclear war and the nuclear arms race: Adolescent experience and perceptions. [28] Adolescents and the threat of nuclear war: The evolution of the perspective. [24] The evidence indicates that many youngsters are bewildered and perplexed by the threat of nuclear war. [24] The majority of youngsters were concerned about at least some aspect of the threat of nuclear war, and a number were afraid. [24] The study and understanding of the impact of the threat of nuclear war on the lives of children and adolescents is in an initial stage. [24] Substantive findings on the attitudes of children and adolescents toward the threat of nuclear war are reviewed. [24] Are youngsters from less affluent homes or of minority group status concerned about the threat of nuclear war? In the 1982 data, seniors in high school not planning to attend college had consistently more pessimistic responses than those planning to attend college. [24] In comparing unemployment, job plans, and threat of nuclear war, in terms of being discussed at home, nuclear war was talked about least. [24] John Goldenring and Ronald Doctor 13, 14 have studied a large group of adolescents in southern California with a questionnaire which they developed to address the question of the relative weight of concern about the threat of nuclear war. [24] Questions about the threat of nuclear war were embedded among questions about other representative worries of adolescents. [24] Students were then asked to rate nine possible hopes and nine possible worries in terms of how important they were, and then they were asked about three future-oriented domains: unemployment, job and career plans, and threat of nuclear war. [24] Faced with the threat of nuclear war, 24 percent admit some or a lot of desire to live only for today and forget about the future. [24] While such a small sample in no sense can be called representative, and although the youngsters were not selected because of their view of the nuclear question, interviews with these youngsters give an even more vivid and detailed sense of the meaning of the threat of nuclear war in their lives. [24] Some have planned to move away from the cities because of the threat; a few have decided not to have children, and they say that the threat of nuclear war has forced them to live more in the present. [24] From quite a different perspective, Robert Coles 29 has reported some in-depth interviews with youngsters about the threat of nuclear war. [24] Youngsters are primarily made aware of the threat of nuclear war through the media; this is sometimes supplemented by information in school. [24] Surprisingly, almost no attention has been directed to studying what enables youngsters to cope well with the threat of nuclear war, perhaps because it is difficult to define what successful coping is. [24] To contemplate the threat of nuclear war requires an act of the imagination which is difficult, if not impossible, for most adults. [24] Teachers have found that such preparation is necessary for teaching students about the threat of nuclear war. [24] Parental attitudes and behaviors as determinants of children’s responses to the threat of nuclear war. [24] Pp. 112-133 in Impact of the Threat of Nuclear War on Children and Adolescents, T. Solantaus, editor;, E. Chivian, editor;, M. Vartanyan, editor;, and S. Chivian, editor., eds. Boston: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. [24] Children’s mental health and the threat of nuclear war: A Canadian pilot study. [24] An all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be the worst catastrophe in history,. [25] Of those surveyed, 33 percent considered nuclear war often, and more than half thought a nuclear war between the United States and the USSR would occur in their lifetimes. [24] Two-thirds of the sample thought that the USSR, the United States, and Europe would not survive a nuclear war. [24] On multichoice questioning, 63 percent of the students indicated that nuclear war was a very important issue or worry for them, as it was ranked second out of the nine possible worries, the first being parents’ death. [24] The salience of the nuclear war issue did affect people’s behavior in very particular ways. [28] The single major impact of The Day After was to increase the salience of nuclear war as an issue. [28] The Day After studies concluded similarly that the movie made nuclear war issues highly salient. [28] Romanticists believe that fundamental human goodness will prevent nuclear war, and they report little anxiety, worry, and thought about the issue. [28] Hedonists believe that the prospect of nuclear war justifies immediate gratification, and they report a high degree of personal impact, a high probability of nuclear war, but only moderate worry and moderate anxiety. [28] Deterrentists report some worry and anxiety and they estimate a moderate probability of nuclear war. [28] As the probability of nuclear war changes, the so-called doomsday clock keeps track–and it just ticked closer to midnight. [29] Strikingly, the Soviet youth were more optimistic than the American youth that a nuclear war would not occur during their lifetimes. [24] In general, Chivian and associates observed from their data that Soviet children reported that they learned about the facts of nuclear war earlier than American children and appeared to have consistently more detailed and accurate information than their American counterparts. [24] Non-propagandizing scientists recently havecalculated that the climatic and other environmental effects of even an all-out nuclear war would be much less severe than the catastrophic effects repeatedly publicized by popular astronomer Carl Sagan and his fellow activist scientists, and by all the involved Soviet scientists. [25] In terms of questionnaire responses, the greatest worry of the Soviet sample of youngsters was nuclear war, as almost 90 percent of the Soviet children regarded the prospect of nuclear war as disturbing or very disturbing. [24] In describing adult response to nuclear war, I use a three-part distinction that is standard in social psychology. [28] This portrait of her reactions resembles the portrait I will draw of the ordinary person’s reactions to the possibility of nuclear war. [28] It describes the average citizen’s response to the possibility of nuclear war. [28] People’s activity regarding the possibility of nuclear war includes political activity and survival activity. [28] Of this group of teenagers, 49 percent said that the possibility of nuclear war has had some influence on how they plan for the future, and 25 percent described this influence as serious, in terms of thinking or planning about the future. [24] The third overall worry was the possibility of nuclear war, with 58 percent responding that they were worried or very worried about the possibility. [24] There is increasing anecdotal evidence that at least some children under the age of 11 are seriously concerned about the possibility of nuclear war. [24] To consider seriously the possibility of nuclear war is to contemplate the destruction of life as it exists on the earth. [24] “Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions on both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation,” a statement from the group continued. [30] Despite the high levels of concern, 51 percent admitted they never spoke to their parents about nuclear war, and 39.4 percent had talked with them about it only a few times. [24] Antinuclear activists and survivalists both think a lot about nuclear war and believe they can do something about it. [28] Action also depends on the salience of people’s beliefs, that is, how often they think about nuclear war. [28] ° Myth: Most of the unborn children and grandchildren of people who have been exposed to radiation from nuclear explosions will be genetically damaged will be malformed, delayed victims of nuclear war. [25] Most important, people view nuclear war as not very probable, a hypothetical event. [28] Most people believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can do nothing with regard to nuclear war. [28] Overall, however, the indications are that people now view nuclear war as unlikely, on balance. [28] People with nuclear war images oriented toward the concrete and the human may well be exceptional. [28] People probably perceive that their nuclear war attitudes are shared by their friends. [28] People do have feelings and beliefs about nuclear war, and these are not inappropriate, given what is known. [28] Presumably, the movie was designed primarily to increase the salience of people’ s concrete images, as are other persuasive attempts to bring nuclear war home to people. [28] Activity by oneself and others might be viewed as decreasing the odds of nuclear war, especially for people with a strong sense of efficacy. [28] To summarize, action first depends on people’s sense of efficacy, that is, their perception of whether action might make a difference to the prevention of nuclear war and to their own survival. [28] Although activists believe that governments create the risk of nuclear war, they also believe that citizens can and should be responsible for preventing it (Tyler and McGraw, 1983). [28] Although survivalists believe nuclear war is likely, they do not report being worried about it (Hamilton et al., 1985a; Tyler and McGraw, 1983). [28] When asked directly what emotions come to mind regarding a nuclear war, the typical person does report fear, terror, and worry (Fiske et al., 1983) or fear and sadness (Skovholt et al., 1985). [28] Altruistic fatalists believe nuclear war is quite possible but not preventable, so in the meantime they should work for the good of humanity, and they report low levels of personal impact and anxiety. [28] This can occur only when they have a vision, a hope for the future, which includes the belief that nuclear war can be prevented and that their actions have an effect. [24] Other misleading calculations are based on exaggerations of the dangers from long-lasting radiation and other harmful effects of a nuclear war. [25] Serious climatic effects from a Soviet-U.S. nuclear war cannot be completely ruled out. [25] Possible deaths from uncertain climatic effects are a small danger compared to the incalculable millions in many countries likely to die from starvation caused by disastrous shortages of essentials of modern agriculture sure to result from a Soviet-American nuclear war, and by the cessation of most international food shipments. [25] Children—one’s own or anyone else’s—are far more vulnerable than adults to the effects of nuclear war. [24] LANSING – Decades after schoolchildren stopped practicing hiding under their desks and years after many fallout shelters were dug up, talk of nuclear war is again on the lips of politicians and pundits. [27] There’s a nuclear war going on inside me (a videotape of interviews with 6-16 year olds). [24] People’s political preferences regarding nuclear war and other policy issues do not come from persuasion by the media. [28] The movie had essentially no impact on people’s attitudes toward arms control, defense spending, perceived likelihood of nuclear war, trust in government leaders’ handling of war and peace, or personal political efficacy regarding war and peace issues. [28] Having the issue on their minds apparently creates detailed and concrete images of nuclear war (Fiske et al., 1983; Milburn and Watanabe, 1985). [28] Accordingly, nuclear war may well be a chronically salient issue for them, as it is for the antinuclear activist. [28] Most participants in the symposium on which this proceedings volume is based and most readers of this book probably agree that nuclear war is an important issue, as shown by their involvement. [28] Viewed this way, one can come to the defense of the ordinary person, and there is no massive problem revealed by the discrepancy in beliefs, feelings, and action about nuclear war. [28] Antinuclear activists do not, however, differ dramatically from the majority of Americans in their attitudes toward nuclear war; they express only somewhat more extreme attitudes and feelings than does the ordinary American. [28] They used an instrument that was adapted from Goldenring and Doctor’s 13, 14 questionnaire, as the questions about nuclear war were embedded in general concerns about teens’ worries. [24] Once again, “fanatics” have acquired the bomb, and nightmare scenarios of a nuclear war abound. [31] The single clearest impact of The Day After was an increase in the salience of nuclear war in the media and, consequently, in people’s minds. [28] Two studies of The Day After directly examined changes in people’s images of nuclear war, and the results confirm the potential influence of the media on people’s concrete images. [28] Considering the focus of The Day After, which concretely depicted the aftermath of nuclear war, the movie was effective in influencing people’s images. [28] The Day After changed the salience of nuclear war, thereby spot-lighting people’s prior concerns and enhancing their intent to act on their existing attitudes. [28] 8 percent reported fear or anxiety about nuclear war almost every day and 24 percent reported these feelings once or twice a week or every day. [24] No one really knows whether citizen action will help to prevent a nuclear war. [28] Perhaps this is consistent with their belief that responsibility for nuclear war lies with historical forces, not with the ordinary citizen or the government (Tyler and McGraw, 1983). [28] The considerable attention in the media, the formation of such groups as Educators for Social Responsibility, the development of curricula and programs in response to the need to educate high school and junior high school students about the nuclear threat, and the development of children’s groups opposed to nuclear war reflect this concern. [24]

Since 1946, between 63 and 79 percent of Americans have believed that any subsequent major war would necessarily be nuclear (Kramer et al., 1983). [28] When asked a general question about problems facing the world, about one-fifth of the students voiced concern about nuclear issues (war and energy). [24] During the half-century that we humans have been tooled up for nuclear Armageddon, there has been a steady stream of false alarms that could have triggered all-out war, with causes ranging from computer malfunction, power failure and faulty intelligence to to navigation error, bomber crash and satellite explosion. [32] Three decades ago, people were asked about the likelihood of another world war, which they overwhelmingly believed would be nuclear; they viewed such a war as somewhat more likely than people do now, but the average person still estimated the chances as 50/50 (Withey, 1954). [28] Nuclear cold war: Student opinions and professional responsibility. [24] There are strike options, but the possible consequences, including a Sino-U.S. war and the regional use of nuclear weapons, are so dire that we have always demurred. [31] Soviet propagandists promptly exploited belief in unsurvivable “nuclear winter” to increase fear of nuclear weapons and war, and to demoralize their enemies. [25]

Today?s typical college student was born after the end of the Cold War and has no memory of a time when most Americans were deeply afraid of nuclear war (excluding, to an extent, the fiery exchange of threats between President Trump and Kim Jong-un last year). [33] If so, educating students on nuclear weapons on a large scale could have the long-term effect of creating an American public that is politically engaged on the nuclear issue and motivated to hold its elected leaders accountable for implementing nuclear policy that reduces the risk of nuclear war. [33] There is a conflict between the security interests of states possessing nuclear weapons, which rely on nuclear deterrence to assure their defense, and the security interests of the world?s population as a whole–which is arguably made less safe overall by the existence of nuclear weapons and the associated risk of nuclear war. [33]

The Hawaii false alarm in January of this year, which warned residents of an incoming North Korean missile attack, was not rescinded until 38 minutes after it was issued–and in that time, many people in Hawaii genuinely feared that nuclear war was imminent. [33] S erving as a U.S. Air Force launch control officer for intercontinental missiles in the early Seventies, First Lieutenant Bruce Blair figured out how to start a nuclear war and kill a few hundred million people. [34]

Part of the nuclear war machine had been dismantled–warhead numbers were reduced, bombers taken off alert, weapons withdrawn from Europe. [34] Recently, nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear war have begun to re-enter the minds of the American public. [33] In a world loaded with nuclear weapons, a nuclear war might happen anyway. [35] Such a confrontation could escalate into a nuclear war if either side believed nuclear weapons were necessary to avoid a humiliating defeat. [35] With President Donald Trump discussing nuclear war with North Korea as a possibility, the thought of surviving a nuclear attack is a thought crossing people?s minds more and more. [36] North Korea may already have nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the U.S., and there is no way to know whether Trump?s negotiations with Kim Jong-un will wind up increasing or decreasing the prospect of nuclear war. [37] Ensuring that all missiles and bombers would be en route before any enemy missiles actually landed meant that most of the targets in the strategic nuclear war plan would be destroyed–thereby justifying the purchase and deployment of the massive force required to execute such a strike. [34] This episode increases the risk of nuclear war between the United States and Russia. [38] That from the earliest days of the nuclear era, the risks and consequences of nuclear war have never been properly understood. [34] Reducing the risks of nuclear war will undoubtedly be a decades-long process, but educating future leaders and citizens on those risks is a vital step in the right direction. [33] The causes of the new risks of nuclear war are not “symbolic” but real and primarily political. [38] The Pentagon promptly classified it as SIOP-ESI–a level higher than top secret. (SIOP stands for Single Integrated Operational Plan, the U.S. plan for conducting a nuclear war. [34] The author of the best-selling survival manual, Nuclear War Survival Skills, Cresson Kearny, was not only an author but an inventor and expert on jungle warfare, according to The New York Times. [36] ATLANTA, GA (WWSB)- The Center for Disease Control wants to get everyone ready for the possibility of a nuclear war. [39] Many Americans, including political and media elites who shape public opinion, have been deluded into thinking, especially since the pseudo-“American-Russian friendship” of the Clinton 1990s, that nuclear war now really is “unthinkable.” [38] If nuclear war is considered “unthinkable,” that is in no small part because of our refusal to think about it with any clarity or specificity. [37] The most recent Nuclear Posture Review, after all, was co-written by Keith Payne, president of the National Institute for Public Policy, and best known for the dubious notion that “victory or defeat in a nuclear war is possible,” as he wrote in 1980. [34] In the long run, the best deterrent to nuclear war may be to understand what a single nuclear bomb is capable of doing to, say, a city like New York — and to accept that the reality would be even worse than our fears. [37] In his efforts to Make America Great Again, Donald Trump has succeeded in reviving at least one aspect of America?s past: the fear of nuclear war. [37] There has clearly been a rational motivation underlying all these elaborate preparations for nuclear war over the years: money. [34]

Any international use of a nuclear weapon–intentional or not, authorized or not–could escalate to a devastating war with unthinkable consequences. [33]

There has been an understandable though unfortunate tendency on the part of adults and society as a whole to keep these matters secret. 40 Nuclear weapons were initially developed during World War II, when debate was not possible. [24] Many Americans who grew up after the end of the Cold War have likely never been told how to prepare for a nuclear strike. [27]

In the words of Lee Butler, who commanded all U.S. nuclear forces at the end of the Cold War, the system the military designed was “structured to drive the president invariably toward a decision to launch under attack” if he or she believes there is “incontrovertible proof that warheads actually are on the way.” [34] The commander of NORAD (still a player at that time) moved U.S. nuclear forces to a higher stage of nuclear alert and closed the blast doors at Cheyenne Mountain for the only time since the end of the Cold War. [34] Interviews with former Soviet military leaders immediately after the Cold War, conducted by the BDM Corporation on a Pentagon contract, confirm that Butler was entirely correct as to their reaction to U.S. nuclear preparations in the name of deterrence. [34] “I fervently believed that in the end it was the nuclear forces that I and others commanded and operated that prevented World War III and created the conditions leading to the collapse of the Soviet empire.” [34] If you?ve felt a new shiver of nuclear fear over the past year, you?re not alone: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its ” Doomsday Clock ” to within two minutes of midnight — closer than it has been since the height of the Cold War. [37] More than 70 years ago, America became the first and only country to use nuclear weapons in war. [37] “There?s no way they would have let one person launch thousands of nuclear weapons that could kill millions of people in less than an hour and not have called that war. [34] History education on the Cold War often addresses the US-Soviet arms race of that time, but nuclear weapons issues in other regions–such as the tense situation between India and Pakistan–are rarely ever mentioned. [33] By that time, the Cold War that had generated the SIOP and all those nuclear weapons had long since come to an end. [34]

Whatever helpful role nuclear weapons may have played in deterring great power conflict since World War II, it is difficult to imagine that their benefits are worth the perpetual risk of their use. [33] The complexity of nuclear threats has increased since the end of the Cold War, yet the United States has decreased the variety of nuclear warheads in its arsenal. [40]


This map represents targets for an all-out attack on the US’s fixed nuclear infrastructure, weapons, and command-and-control centers, but even a massive strike like this wouldn’t guarantee anything. [41] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. spent substantial resources on dismantling many of its weapons and production facilities as well as ensuring that its many nuclear scientists had alternative employment so as not to be tempted to sell their wares and expertise to the highest bidder. [2] The U.S. really doesn?t have any first strike grounds so we are looking at Nuclear armed gulf states – Iran etc. however these are all regional. [3] During the 1990’s I was very concerned that American military action in the former Yugoslavia might bring about a situation similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis, where both Russia and the U.S. found themselves dragged, reluctantly but inexorably, toward full scale nuclear confrontation. [4] Russia however is a global player and not afraid to stand up to the US?s global community – this however threatens Russia and exposes it to military pressure — Russia is nuclear armed. [3]

There’s also, I think, an incident in South Africa as well when South Africa was briefly a nuclear state. [1] In the nuclear world, a state attacks only if it believes in guaranteed success. [3] A more recent emerging threat is that a rogue group could hack into a nuclear power?s command and control computers, triggering a launch, or into an early warning system, giving the impression an enemy attack is imminent. [2] It starts with a nuclear blast obliterating a column of cars stuck on a highway as panicked people rush to try to evade the attack spreads. [2]

The hope at the time was that the two nuclear superpowers would pursue a follow-on treaty and at one point Obama suggested he might reduce the U.S. arsenal unilaterally by another third. [2] The U.S. has strategically positioned the bulk of its nuclear forces, which double as nuclear targets, far from population centers. [41]

Seth : Well, the first thing that really struck me was, “Wow, there are a lot of ways of being killed by nuclear weapons.” [1] It’s actually not really, honestly clear to me why you would use a nuclear depth charge, but there’s not any evidence they ever intended to use them but they sent out nuclear armed ships, essentially, to deal with a crisis in the Falklands. [1]

This is scary because this got passed up the chain and supposedly, President Boris Yeltsin, it was Yeltsin at the time, actually activated the nuclear football in case he needed to authorize a response. [1] Nuclear proliferation is creating more and more nuclear tinder that could set off a global fire, with India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea being the most obvious possible flash points. [4] The fissile isotopes used in nuclear warheads are U-235 and Pu-239. [2] The biggest single challenge in making a nuclear warhead is producing enough of these isotopes from the elements found in nature. [2]

Seth : Yeah, I think there were probably incidents involving all of the nuclear armed countries, certainly involving China. [1] I mean, these are nuclear powers that occasionally shoot at each other across the line of control, so I do think that’s very scary. [1]

I mean, the United States might be the most transparent out of all of the nuclear armed countries. [1] There’s a “0.0% chance” that Russia could hope to survive an act of nuclear aggression against the U.S., according to Schwartz. [41] In May, Trump walked out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran, which curbed Iranian nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. [2] The problem was that most of the planes, or the ordinary planes they would have ordinarily scrambled, were out on some other sorties, some exercise, something like that, and they ended up scrambling planes which had a nuclear payload on them. [1] Low-enriched uranium, used in civilian nuclear power, is usually 3%-4% U-235. [2] I think this is one of the biggest points of uncertainty for the overall risk, is if there is an initial use of nuclear weapons, how likely is it that additional nuclear weapons are used and how many and in what ways? I feel like despite having studied this a modest amount, I don’t really have a good answer to that question. [1] Not that one nuclear weapon being used wouldn’t be an incredibly catastrophic event as well, but I think with that kind of risk you really need to be very careful to try to minimize it as much possible. [1]

A lot of times, I think, when you talk about catastrophic risk, you’re not simply talking about the impact of the initial event, but the long-term consequences it could have starting more wars, ongoing famines, a shock to the economic system that can cause political problems, so these are things that we need to look at more. [1] Each “small” war — in Iran, or Iraq, or Vietnam, or Afghanistan — is pulling the trigger; each threat of the use of violence — as in the Cuban missile crisis — is pulling the trigger; each day that goes by in which a missile or computer can fail is pulling the trigger. [4] As noted in my work on war and peace, while ending war is necessary for humanity’s long term survival, in the short term we need a strong military to deal with very real threats in a world that has not accepted that truth. [4] To avoid extinction, we must take action to shift from an old mode of thinking which justifies war as necessary for survival to a new mode of thinking which recognizes war as the ultimate threat to survival. [4]

I have three schools of thought on the possibility of WW3. #1 is that the world is so interconnected by trade and business that war is unthinkable. #2 is that North Korea is a nation ruled by an unhinged loose cannon that has already done bizarre and unthinkable things and prove himself that he is capable of anything. #3 is my bet, and described in greater detail below. [3] Obviously neither side wants a war, but I think there’s a danger of the kind of inadvertent escalation, miscalculation, and that hasn’t really gone away. [1] Since Russia and Iran are in Syria, that could really blow up the war. [3]

A simple fact that has to be reckoned with is that if China loses half its population in a war, it will still be far more than the U.S. population at the start of war. [3] My reference to war in Afghanistan referred to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979-89), not the current American invasion of Afghanistan, post 9/11. [4] Unless we make a radical shift in our thinking about war, this time will be no different. [4] Orville Wright saw a similar vision: “When my brother and I built and flew the first man-carrying flying machine, we thought we were introducing into the world an invention that would make further wars practically impossible.” [4] Countries are ready for the risks of war if possible defeat will bring limited damage – this applies to conventional wars. [3] The war is in Syria but it is also in Ukraine? conventional forces have been strengthened in Eastern Europe, there is a war there, so that is the old Soviet Union, you know the war is on their doorstep. [3] The probability of war decreases while deterrent and defense capabilities increase. [3] Each action on our current path has some chance of triggering the final global war. [4] Robert : I personally do think that’s possible because I think a number of the scenarios that would involve using a nuclear weapon or not between the United States and Russia, or even the United States and China, so I think that some scenarios involve a few nuclear weapons. [1]

In the first one there were plans made up by the United States, the Joint Chiefs of Staff allegedly recommended that nuclear weapons be used against China if the conflict intensified and that President Eisenhower was apparently pretty receptive to this idea. [1] My general understanding is that hair-trigger alert is used as a means to enhance deterrence in order to make it less likely that either side would use their nuclear weapons in the first place, but regarding the specifics of it, that’s not something that I’ve personally looked at closely enough to really be able to comment on. [1] Just to pick one example, in 1954 and 1955 was known as the first Taiwan Straits Crisis, and the second crisis, by the way, in 1958, also included plans for nuclear weapons use. [1] Even with India and Pakistan, they don’t necessarily, I wouldn’t think they would necessarily, use all what do they have each, like a hundred or so nuclear weapons I wouldn’t necessarily assume they would use them all. [1] I’m accustomed to thinking of nuclear weapons as having a fairly substantial taboo attached to them, but I feel like the taboo has perhaps strengthened over the years, such that leadership now is less inclined to give the use of nuclear weapons serious consideration than it was back then. [1]

Right now, I might be most worried that the U.S. would launch a bloody-nose attack against North Korea and North Korea would respond with a nuclear weapon, so it depends a little bit. [1] Even if every single U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile silo, stockpiled nuclear weapon, and nuclear-capable bomber were flattened, U.S. nuclear submarines could — and would — retaliate. [41] Russian President Vladimir Putin announced new, supposedly unstoppable nuclear weapons that could hit the U.S. in a matter of minutes. [41]

The bargain at the heart of the NPT was that member states without nuclear weapons agreed not to acquire them, as long as the states with weapons reduced their obscenely large arsenals, capable of destroying the planet many times over. [2] So far there have only been four rogue nuclear weapons states who ignored the NPT and made their own bombs. [2]

I think that would be the same issue if there were a lot of nuclear weapons used. [1] Robert : Well, I don’t think that non-state actors using a nuclear weapon is the big risk right now. [1] Robert : Well, I agree with Seth, it’s astounding what the range, the sheer panoply of bad things that could happen, but I think that once you get into a situation where cities are being destroyed by nuclear weapons, or really anything being destroyed by nuclear weapons, it can unpredictable really fast. [1] They mentioned this to Washington and the Secretary of Defense got on the line and said, “No, recall those planes,” so it didn’t get that far necessarily, but I found it a really shocking incident because it was a friendly fire confusion, essentially, and there were a number of cases like that in which nuclear weapons were involved because they happened to be on equipment where they shouldn’t have been that was used to respond to some kind of a real or false emergency. [1] Ariel: If you?d like to read the papers discussed in this podcast or if you want to learn more about the threat of nuclear weapons and what you can do about it, please visit futureoflife.org and find this podcast on the homepage, where we?ll be sharing links in the introduction. [1] While we all live under a nuclear “sword of Damocles,” Schwartz added, people in big cities like New York and Los Angeles most likely shouldn’t worry about being struck by a nuclear weapon. [41]

Otherwise, a lot of uses of nuclear weapons are only risks in the context of nuclear weapons. [3] If we just had no nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons wouldn’t be a risk, and I thought that was an interesting way to look at it. [1]

Some of the incidents that Seth mentioned with China, the danger or the nuclear armed power that might have used nuclear weapons was the United States. [1] Of the second-tier nuclear weapons powers, again according to FAS estimates, France has 300 warheads, China 270, the UK 215, Pakistan 130-40, India 120-30, Israel 80, and North Korea between 10 and 20. [2] That probability increases dramatically if Iran is allowed to produce nuclear weapons, which would likely take more than five years from today. [3] I had some familiarity with the history of incidents involving nuclear weapons, but there turned out to be much more that’s gone on over the years than I really had any sense for. [1]

Three successor countries to the Soviet Union – Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus – inherited nuclear weapons in 1991, and all three agreed to surrender them, in Ukraine?s case in return for sovereignty guarantees from Russia that ultimately proved worthless. [2] We, in this paper, built out a pretty detailed model that looks at all of the different details, or at least a lot of the various details, of what each of those five effects of nuclear weapons detonations would have and what that means in human terms. [1] Some of it is because I’m not a historian, this is not my specialty, but there were any number of events that it appears that the nuclear weapons were, at least may have been, seriously considered for use in a conflict. [1] That is something we need to look at, in some sense, even more seriously, even though the chance of that is probably a fair amount smaller than the chance of one nuclear weapon being used. [1] There are scenarios in which just one or a few nuclear weapons would be used. [1]

One side of the conflict cannot destroy a sufficient number of opponent?s nuclear weapons in order to make a retaliatory strike acceptable. [3]

There hasn’t been a nuclear detonation in a long time and we hope that there will never be another one, but I think that it’s important to think about it this way so that we can find the ways that we can mitigate the risk. [1] Most of the time when we think about nuclear detonations and how you can get killed by them, you think about, all right, there’s the initial explosion and whether it’s the blast itself or the buildings falling on you, or the fire, it might be the fire, or maybe it’s a really high dose of radiation that you can get if you?re close enough to the detonation, that’s probably how you can die. [1] I also think, and this is an intuition, this isn’t a conclusion that we have from the paper, but I also think that the danger of something happening between the United States and Russia is probably underestimated, because we’re not in the Cold War anymore, relations aren’t necessarily good, it’s not clear what relations are, but people will say things like, “Well, neither side wants a war.” [1] Nearly three decades after the cold war, the U.S. and Russia still keep hundreds of missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch within minutes, in anticipation of just an occasion. [2]

That has indeed happened, to an extent – at first as the result of arms control agreements, and then the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the cold war. [2] The darkest day of the cold war produced some timeless comedy, from the classic movie of accidental apocalypse, Dr Strangelove, to the songs of the mathematician, musician and comedian, Tom Lehrer, with titles like So Long Mom (A song for WWIII), and in the UK, the civil defence sketch by Beyond the Fringe. [2] In World War One, the machine gun often mowed down tens of thousands of men in a single day. [4]

In our world of talking about global catastrophic risks, we also will think about the risk of nuclear winter and in particular, the effect that that can have on global agriculture. [1] One thing is certain: In a full-on nuclear attack from Russia, the U.S. has little chance to defend itself and millions would die almost instantly. [41] The likely targets of a Russian nuclear strike would be counterintuitive, and places like New York and Los Angeles may be spared for more high-value targets in North Dakota or Montana. [41] Deterrence requires the possibility of causing unacceptable damage to the opponent, which is achieved by the ability of a retaliatory nuclear strike. [3]

If one nuclear bomb is used in anger in the 21st century, that’s terrible, but wouldn’t be all that surprising or mean the destruction of the human race. [1]

One early use of the word “holocaust” to describe an imagined nuclear destruction appears in Reginald Glossop’s 1926 novel The Orphan of Space : “Moscow. beneath them. a crash like a crack of Doom! The echoes of this Holocaust rumbled and rolled. a distinct smell of sulphur. atomic destruction.” 9 In the novel, an atomic weapon is planted in the office of the Soviet dictator, who, with German help and Chinese mercenaries, is preparing the takeover of Western Europe. [6] The U.S. missile defense system is unlikely to stop any nuclear missiles launched at the U.S., and the U.S. military has little ability to prevent the launch of missiles from North Korea ahead of time. [11] Kim could respond by resuming missile tests, enraging Trump and worrying American officials that a showdown cannot be long avoided (unless the United States is willing to accept North Korea as a nuclear power, which many defense analysts outside the government would be willing to do). [12] The false alarm fueled national security concerns about North Korea, which has been launching test missiles and bragging about its nuclear capability, while its leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump exchange insults on Twitter about their arsenals. [10]

Therefore, some inside the Trump administration (and, it appears, the president himself) believe that a preemptive military strike aimed at hitting North Korea’s nuclear installations is a viable, even unavoidable, action. [13] “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said. [13]

Many of us believe that if nuclear missiles were to strike the United States, they would most likely come from North Korea. [12] Hawaii has been preparing for the possibility of a nuclear first strike from North Korea for years. [5] Last week, Trump cancelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo?s latest trip to North Korea to continue nuclear negotiations. [11]

Putin criticized George W. Bush’s 2002 withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which stated that in order to reduce offensive nuclear forces in Russia and the United States, both sides would have to agree to limit anti-ballistic missile defenses. [9] Former Defense Secretary William Perry described the dangers of nuclear miscalculation, citing a 1983 incident in which Russian satellite nuclear warning systems mistakenly thought they detected five U.S. nuclear missiles launched at Russia, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. [9] Moscow correspondent Fred Weir wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, “The U.S. withdrew unilaterally from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty triggering Russian fears that technological advances might one day wipe out their nuclear deterrent.” [9] The belief in “overkill” is also commonly encountered, with an example being the following statement made by nuclear disarmament activist Philip Noel-Baker in 1971 – “Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union now possess nuclear stockpiles large enough to exterminate mankind three or four – some say ten – times over”. [6]

Kim, the White House argues, is so unreliable that he’s likely to lash out, possibly striking the United States or American targets, if and when his fast-developing nuclear arsenal is ready, even if such an attack would be suicidal. [13] Although they knew that Kim would respond to Moon?s attack and picked up the unusual volume and pattern of encrypted signals traffic in its wake, they interpreted the activity as preparations for the long-feared North Korean staging of a nuclear test in the atmosphere, not the attack that actually ensued. [12] In the Korean case, perhaps Kim would realize that he had dangerously misread Trump and that he had no choice but to curb if not end his nuclear program. [12]

The United States had been behind the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 and had nuclear missiles present in Turkey and Italy. [8] One competitor or the other felt obliged to play nuclear “catch-up,” even when, as was true of the United States, it was actually ahead in the competition. [22]

Jeffrey Lewis is an arms control expert and analyst of the high-stakes diplomacy conducted around North Korea?s nuclear program. [11] The U.S. Center for Disease Control hosted a workshop about the public health response to a nuclear disaster in January, and makes resources available online about how to respond to a radiological event. [5] The U.S. withdrawal and abrogation of the ABM Treaty may prove to be the greatest strategic blunder of the nuclear age.” [9] A gathering of experts organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said the U.S. isn?t ready for the public health crisis that would follow a nuclear blast. [5] He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal. [10]

It is framed as the report of future government commission investigating a nuclear conflict that has left 1.4 million Americans dead, with Lewis acting as its rapporteur. [11] In November at a Vatican symposium, Pope Francis called for nuclear disarmament, American Magazine reports. [10]

Early reports considered direct effects from nuclear blast and radiation and indirect effects from economic, social, and political disruption. [6]

Our understanding of what happens after a nuclear exchange have developed over time. [7] While Trump?s well-documented impulsiveness and shoddy policymaking process weigh heavily, Lewis does not depict the president?s character recklessly launching nuclear missiles at rivals. [11] Cutting-edge nuclear deterrence, in the view of the Trump posture statement, requires “tailored strategies” and “flexible capabilities.” [22] Negotiations on nuclear testing and space warfare had gone nowhere, while the prospect of a second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty had been shredded by Soviet tanks rumbling into Afghanistan. [22] The lack of clarity around each country?s motivation, particularly the psychology of Kim Jong Un, leaves a grey area ripe for nuclear actors to mis-interpret each other?s signals of deterrence. [11] The book does not end by embracing of Lewis? own preference for global nuclear disarmament. [11] In contrast to the above investigations of global nuclear conflicts, studies have shown that even small-scale, regional nuclear conflicts could disrupt the global climate for a decade or more. [6] “Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict”. [6]

“Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences” (PDF). [6] “It is going beyond the questions raised before about the ethic of nuclear deterrence not being warranted in the present day,” Bishop McElroy said. [10] When the Kremlin rides roughshod over the sovereignty of neighboring countries, diplomacy to reduce nuclear force structure takes a hiatus. [22]

If, as they believe, Kim is aggressive-minded and irrational, then who’s to say he won’t respond to even a limited attack by the United States with all-out war, striking military targets and South Korean civilian population centers, U.S. facilities and bases, and Japanese cities? Cha himself highlighted exactly this paradox in his op-ed. [13] The attack on one of his palaces was an early reminder of the opening of the Iraq War when the U.S. military sent stealth bombers to Dora Farm in the mistaken belief that Saddam Hussein was there. [12]

The war in Syria, in which both the U.S. and Russia are already involved, may provide a venue for just that eventuality. [9]

“Every time I think of us getting into an atomic war I get the jitters,” said one woman shopping downtown. [8] Like Moon, he wants to avoid all-out war and so withholds his ICBMs. Trump, he reasons, will understand this, and faced by Kim?s combination of resolve and restraint would call off the invasion to save the American homeland. [12] At each point, Kim, Moon, Trump, and their subordinates might have made different choices and avoided war. [12]

Many of the events involve bizarre coincidences and gross misperceptions, but they are precisely those kinds of things that have occurred in the past, could readily recur, and, given a very high level of hostility between the United States and North Korea, could lead to a war that no one wants. [12] In December, McMaster said that the likelihood of war with North Korea is “increasing every day.” [13]

As Bush pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, he escalated the “global war on terror.” [9] Many scholars have posited that a global thermonuclear war with Cold War-era stockpiles, or even with the current smaller stockpiles, may lead to human extinction. [6]

The coercive bargaining tactics that each side can use — and feel they must use — make us realize that the war could happen. [12] It is hard to dramatize this possibility or to make a convincing case for the exact pathway to a war. [12] Fighting a limited war is extremely difficult and planning for how this might be done has gone out of fashion, at least in the United States. [12] Following the cancellation of his appointment, in a courageous op-ed in the Washington Post, Cha outlined his belief that even a modest attack would “escalat into a war that would likely kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans.” [13] Of course, to argue that a war could start in this way is not to claim that this is the only or even the most likely path to war. [12] This very fact means that the danger of all-out war can be used by either country as a bargaining lever against the other. [12] Both launch decapitation strikes, trying to kill the other and disable the regime?s ability to fight the war. [12]

The United States, undeterred but not wanting to use nuclear weapons, responds with a conventional air attack, trying to destroy North Korean missiles and kill Kim. [12] For the first time, Trump’s NPR would allow the United States to use nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks, including cyberattacks, in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners.” [9]

By and large, the public–and perhaps many lawmakers–believe that North Korea cannot yet attack the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, that U.S. air defenses could stop it, and that clear, timely communication between all parties is possible. [11] Before and since, Lewis predicted that Trump would use any positive signals to declare that he had solved the problem of North Korea?s nuclear threat, and that North Korea would not give up its nuclear weapons. [11] Other signs indicate that Trump is very open to nuclear weapons use. [9]

The treaty also prohibits the transfer of, use of, or threat to use nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. [9] “The reality is that planning to use nuclear weapons in a ‘limited’ way is a dangerous fantasy,” he noted. [9]

In a poll of experts at the Global Catastrophic Risk Conference in Oxford (17?20 July 2008), the Future of Humanity Institute estimated the probability of complete human extinction by nuclear weapons at 1% within the century, the probability of 1 billion dead at 10% and the probability of 1 million dead at 30%. 19 These results reflect the median opinions of a group of experts, rather than a probabilistic model; the actual values may be much lower or higher. [6] Historically, it has been difficult to estimate the total number of deaths resulting from a global nuclear exchange because scientists are continually discovering new effects of nuclear weapons, and also revising existing models. [6]

According to the 1980 United Nations report General and Complete Disarmament: Comprehensive Study on Nuclear Weapons: Report of the Secretary-General, it was estimated that there were a total of about 40,000 nuclear warheads in existence at that time, with a potential combined explosive yield of approximately 13,000 megatons. [6] In their recent report, ICAN and PAX, a nongovernmental peace organization, concluded that the top 10 financial institutions with the greatest investment in manufacture of nuclear weapons are U.S. companies, which account for almost half ($253 billion) of the total investment. [9] Putin alluded to the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) in his speech, noting, “Some of the provisions of the updated U.S. nuclear strategy review, which reduces the threshold for using nuclear weapons, trigger tremendous concern. [9] His administration’s new Nuclear Posture Review reveals “a shift from one where the use of nuclear weapons is possible to one where the use of nuclear weapons is likely,” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said in a statement. [9]

“After nuclear weapons are used by one side, or when they are used preemptively, the other side would mount a massive attack against central strategic forces of the attacking state.” [9] North Korea likely has nuclear weapons capable of striking not just South Korea and Japan, but also the U.S., contrary to claims by government officials that the country does not yet have a “reliable” way to launch its weapons. [11] The threat of a nuclear holocaust plays an important role in the popular perception of nuclear weapons. [6] A 2008 study found that a regional nuclear weapons exchange could create a near-global ozone hole, triggering human health problems and impacting agriculture for at least a decade. 32 This effect on the ozone would result from heat absorption by soot in the upper stratosphere, which would modify wind currents and draw in ozone-destroying nitrogen oxides. [6] A nuclear holocaust, nuclear apocalypse or atomic holocaust is a theoretical scenario involving widespread destruction and radioactive fallout causing the collapse of civilization, through the use of nuclear weapons. [6] If the probability of nuclear weapons going off were zero, they would not deter anybody.” [22] The treaty, however, “has created a movement towards divestment, reflected in the reduction in the number of companies investing in nuclear weapons, and an increase in financial institutions comprehensively prohibiting any investment,” according to Susi Snyder of PAX, who is a co-author of the new report. [9] The drafters of nuclear posture statements are obliged to presume that using nuclear weapons in battle will be an orderly business; otherwise, the entire exercise would lose any semblance of logic and cohesion. [22] What are the humanitarian consequences of targeting plans for nuclear weapons? And how is escalation to be controlled after these Gates of Hell are opened and the nuclear threshold is crossed? If the defenders of nuclear deterrence and the drafters of nuclear posture statements cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, their handiwork is built on quicksand. [22]

Kim, believing that Moon attacked on Washington?s orders, and that this is the first step in an American plot to kill him and take over his country, orders a nuclear attack on South Korea and Japan designed to thwart the coming invasion and to send a signal to Trump: Back off or the ICBMs will fly. [12] Earlier in 2018, Trump said North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat after he held a summit with Kim. [11]

The Trump administration?s nuclear posture statement comes at a particularly rough time, reminiscent of the transition from President Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. [22]

He told the American people of the Soviet military buildup happening in Cuba, saying, “the purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere. [8] From the American perspective, the horrendous nuclear strikes in the region mean that they must eliminate Kim and his ICBMs as quickly as possible. [12] To Kim, the only actions he can take to save his life and his regime are preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korea and Japan that would disrupt the coming invasion and show his resolve. [12]

As David Krieger, founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, noted at Truthdig, “The fuel for a new nuclear arms race was already on the fire, and a Russian strategic response was predictable, when the U.S. withdrew from the ABM Treaty and began developing and emplacing missile defense systems globally. [9] In response to Putin’s March 1 invitation to enter into nuclear arms negotiations for “international security and sustainable development,” Krieger wrote, “The U.S. should take him up on this offer.” [9]

Jeffrey Lewis, a respected nuclear analyst, sets this as his task in what he calls a “speculative novel,” The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States. [12] The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States, published by HMH on Aug. 7, is a work of speculative fiction that draws on deep factual knowledge. [11]

Stategists started to think that the next nuclear attack might come from smaller bombs developed from stolen or lost fissile material. [5] To get an idea of what the fallout of a nuclear attack might look like, experts often look to past crises: how Japan dealt with the Fukushima reactor meltdown in 2011, and how Russia dealt with the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. [5] Subsequent calculations using more advanced models in the 1980s found that the aftermath might not be as bad as previously expected — more like ‘nuclear autumn’ than nuclear winter. [7] Early studies using simple models suggested that the results would be catastrophic — a severe and prolonged cooling of our planet’s climate, dubbed nuclear winter. [7]

Although this report was made when nuclear stockpiles were at much higher levels than they are today, it also was made before the risk of nuclear winter was discovered in the early 1980s. [6] This position was bolstered when nuclear winter was first conceptualized and modelled in 1983. [6] The same study also noted that most medical first responders have no training in how to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack. [5] As first reported by Nature, America?s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a meeting of health experts to discuss America?s ability to respond to the public health crisis that would follow a (hypothetical) nuclear detonation. [5]

Nor, perhaps, do many Americans understand the nature of the nuclear threat against them, which Lewis depicts by drawing on graphic eye-witness testimony from the Hiroshima attacks. [11] Some companies are taking steps to prepare us for the possibility of a nuclear strike. [7] Should a nuclear strike ever occur, it’s likely to cause some extent of global cooling, called a nuclear winter. [7] A modern twist might be to also lace the bombs with aerosols designed to exacerbate nuclear winter. [6]

Trump?s nuclear posture focuses on the strategic competition between major powers, not the appearance of a singular mushroom cloud based on human error, unauthorized use, or accident that could lead to cataclysm. [22] Then North Korea changed the game in 2006 when it successfully detonated a nuclear bomb and put everyone back on Cold-War footing. [5]

Lewis draws upon Cold War incidents like the 1983 shooting down of a Korean airliner by Soviet forces, President Ronald Reagan?s probing of Soviet peripheries with aircraft and naval forces, and what we now know of Saddam Hussein?s thinking about dealing with the conspiracies arrayed against him to detail a story that few of us could have thought of beforehand. [12] The U.S. and its allies used to study the world?s ability to deal with an atomic blast, but that changed after the Cold War ended and tensions eased with Russia. [5] A Cold War between capitalist, democratic America and communism Russia developed. [8]

While on one level this makes sense both for revenge and for reducing the other?s military capability, it was a truism in the Cold War that to do so would be to risk all-out retaliation and make it much more difficult to bring the war to an end. [12] We are in a new arms race that will put us under the terror of a new Cold War. [9]

It was the year of David Lean’s epic film “Lawrence of Arabia” and James Jones’ World War II novel “The Thin Red Line. [8]

Doing so, goes the argument, will neutralize Kim’s nuclear arms, teach him a lesson and force him to come meekly to the bargaining table. [13] The escalation of the nuclear arms race continued during the Obama administration. [9] Nuclear arms dealers stand to profit handily from the heightened nuclear arms race. [9]

“Even the Nixon administration paid lip service to the futility of the concept by referring to its plan for limited nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union as the ‘ Madman Theory.'” [9]

Mr. Trump has boasted about the size and power of America?s nuclear arsenal, threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, pushed for a massive buildup of an arsenal that already has too many — 4,000 — warheads and wondered aloud why the United States possesses such weapons if it isn?t prepared to use them. [42] It made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world?s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used. [42]

Their militaries have produced shared understandings of the conduct of naval vessels and aircraft, but strategic dialogues on nuclear forces, missile defenses, and anti-satellite weapons are limited at best. [18] While we can welcome improved rhetoric about the nuclear crisis, it is not certain that the North Koreans will relinquish the weapons for which they have sacrificed so much to build. [17] That same month, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs reported that 75 percent of Americans consider North Korea?s nuclear program a top threat. [23] In addition to the North Korean threat, the larger problem of global nuclear proliferation must also be addressed. [17]

North Korea may simply keep bobbing and weaving, tactically and inventively, testing missiles with varying degrees of provocation, and progressing its intercontinental nuclear delivery capabilities – all the while locking the U.S. and South Korea in protracted negotiations. [16] With Iran, North Korea and a U.S. president more inclined toward belligerence than diplomacy, things have changed: nuclear is back. [21] “So, a few days ago, North Korea threatened a nuclear showdown with the United States. [19]

The Federal Civil Defense Administration created cartoons showing kids how to duck and cover, which would not have been of much use in a nuclear exchange that killed hundreds of millions of people. [20] “And people said, “Nope!? I think it had some impact on tempering the nuclear enthusiasm of the time.” [20] I mean, it’s like Donald Trump brags about his genitals and his nuclear capabilities in exactly the same way [19] In his introduction to a policy document called the Nuclear Policy Review, released on Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that Russia is adopting “military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation for their success.” [14] Both governments also believe that a demonstrable readiness to use military force–including nuclear weapons–is needed to ensure the other will yield in a military confrontation. [18]

“Some of the books have been in the works for years, for occasional nuclear titles have long turned up on publishers’ lists,” wrote The New York Times in November 1982. [20] In the spring of 1978, the St. Petersburg Times commissioned William Kincade, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, to write a story that “looked at life after a nuclear exchange.” [20]

In a world awash with statistics about global nuclear supremacy, a simple fiction about daily life in a postnuclear world served as an antidote to the bureaucratic magic that had been spun around the possibility of conflict. [20] They did that with a series of New Yorker articles by Jonathan Schell thinking through the possibility that a full-on nuclear exchange would mean the extinction of humanity. [20] They do not have a nuclear testing site inside North Korea because they had a physical problem with their nuclear testing site. [19] Let’s face the reality: North Korea is in trouble because they blew up their own nuclear mountain. [19]

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis got our attention, and for a decade or two we lived with the reality that nuclear destruction was as few as 30 minutes away. [21] A nuclear missile would make landfall in 20 minutes and kill an estimated 18,000 civilians. [23]

Their preparations include improvements to their nuclear arsenals, including a trillion dollar investment in the United States. [18] The story was written by Nan Randall, a journalist who had reported for The Washington Post and Newsweek and put in a couple of years at the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy as a program director. [20] Mr. Trump was compelled to act, the document argues, primarily because of Russia?s “unabashed return to Great Power competition,” including modernization of its nuclear weaponry. [42] Making matters worse, Mr. Trump, in a separate decision on Friday, continued to put the 2015 deal that froze Iran?s nuclear program in jeopardy. [42]

Then we got used to the idea and settled into a grim nuclear standoff with other nuclear nations; the notion of nuclear annihilation became as abstract and distant — and as easily ignorable — as climate change. [21] Nobody knows the potential long-term psychiatric effects of nuclear anxiety. [23] The December 2017 issue of Harper?s magazine featured seven writers ” taking stock of our nuclear present.” [20] The relation of massive nuclear destructive force to national security requires such a change in human thinking that our leaders will not be able to bring us to safety without broad public support. [17]

Certainly, soldiers got hurt and many died, but Europe didn’t have the collective imagination to envision the devastation of a modern war fought with modern weapons. [21] This silence might make short-term political sense, but heightens the risk that the Trump administration?s two-faced foreign policy will lead the U.S. into a great and disastrous war. [14] This scenario could prevail in the short-term if Trump is abruptly removed from office in the coming months or if the U.S. should become suddenly distracted by eruptions in one of the two other major conflict theatres in the world – first, the Russia-Ukraine-West conflict, or second, the several existing and potential wars in the Middle East. [16]

Trump could also capriciously match this push for unification with his own prodigious energy, and thereby potentially earn himself and his Korean counterparts a legitimate Nobel Peace Prize – even if the honour may not be as compelling a domestic consolidation action as war in the context of the growing political storm in Washington. [16]

“Okay? There’s not going to be a war between North Korea and the United States because Kim Jong Un is not suicidal.” [19] This logic could indeed be couched as “the 60-year law? – to wit, that modern states last an average of about 60 years, after which they disappear or transform unrecognisably through war or constitutional collapse, or both. [16] MONTAGUE — Life in the Minisink Valley was extremely difficult during the time of the French and Indian War. [21] In plain English, this means that America should focus on defending itself against Russia and China, rather than fighting interminable wars in the Middle East. [14] I suppose that is one of the ways you would know the war was over, that the recovery period was over, that the survivors had gotten over the war, would be when human life could again become precious. [20] In the last scenario, the authors propose that there would be some structure to the days and months after the war. [20] The answer resides in the tensions and rivalries among the great international powers of the day and in their response to them, which was to prepare for war. [21]

Despite the end of the Cold War, hundreds of weapons remain poised in launch-on-warning status, vulnerable to triggering by computer or human error. [17]

Now, as he tries to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons capability and ensure that Iran never acquires one, Mr. Trump is poised to make public a new policy that commits America to an increasing investment in those very weapons, according to a draft document made public by HuffPost and confirmed by The Times. [42] At a time when many are questioning whether Mr. Trump ought to be allowed anywhere near the nuclear “button,” he is moving ahead with plans to develop new nuclear weapons and expanding the circumstances in which they?d be used. [42] Negotiations on further reductions have stalled in recent years as Russia, threatened by America?s superior conventional arsenal, became more reliant on nuclear weapons, and there is no serious sign that Mr. Trump wants to revive the talks. [42] Hawks like Mattis are pushing for America to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons to intimidate Russia and China, a policy Trump has bought into on nationalist grounds. [14]

You’re pretending this is a partnership of coequals, that we’re going to sit down across the table and we’re going to pretend like North Korea’s a real country and not a crazy dictatorship where you imprison in a gulag hundreds of thousands of people and then test your crappy level nuclear weapons. [19]

The United States, Russia, and China, with their large conventional military forces, would have the most to gain from outlawing nuclear weapons, which are an equalizer for smaller nations and terrorists. [17] Under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, signed in 1968, the United States and Russia promised to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons. [42] Until Mr. Trump, no one could imagine the United States ever using a nuclear weapon again. [42]

U.S. officials believe that if a military conflict starts, nuclear weapons may be needed to stop it–but Chinese officials assume no nation would ever invite nuclear retaliation by using nuclear weapons first. [18] We can increase global security and take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert–but not without you. [18]

President Barack Obama made a down payment on a saner policy by narrowing to “extreme circumstances” the conditions under which nuclear weapons would be used and ruling out their use against most non-nuclear countries. [42] Expanding the instances when America might use nuclear weapons could also make it easier for other nuclear-armed countries to justify using their own arsenals against adversaries. [42] While we might hope that the use of nuclear weapons could be constrained by rationality, somehow in our country we’ve allowed the so-called nuclear football to fall into the hands of a man who is characterized by emotion, insecurity, impulse and bluster. [21]

It is a good time for a discussion of the risks of maintaining the present course versus the risks of outlawing nuclear weapons, just as we have outlawed biologic and chemical weapons of mass destruction. [17] It is time, with the help of an informed citizenry, to address not just the symptom but also the underlying disease: the existence of thousands of legal nuclear weapons threatening billions of innocent civilians. [17]

The United States already has immense nuclear and conventional capabilities, and experts say there is no evidence these so-called more usable low-yield nuclear weapons will force adversaries to behave better. [42] That has also been a stated goal of the United States, which signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1968. [17]

America First and Great Power competition find common ground on the terrifying issue of nuclear weapons. [14] Mr. Trump?s policy also talks about “extreme circumstances, ” but it dangerously broadens the definition to include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” which could mean using nuclear weapons to respond to cyber, biological and chemical weapon attacks. [42] The nations that have developed nuclear weapons since NPT was signed claim that, in the 50 years since, the original nuclear-armed signatories of the NPT have not fulfilled their pledge to work for “cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date” and negotiate “complete disarmament.” [17] In the 1980s, there was broad public opposition to the nuclear arms race, which was followed by a significant reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, from more than 60,000 to about 15,000 today. [17]

Say no to the Trump administration’s new nuclear weapons policies. [18] Mr. Trump has so shaken this orthodoxy that Congress has begun debating limits on his unilateral authority to launch nuclear weapons. [42]

ICAN developed a UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by a majority of the world’s nations last year. [17] ” The Pentagon envisions a new age in which nuclear weapons are back in a big way–its strategy bristles with plans for new low-yield nuclear weapons that advocates say are needed to match Russian advances and critics warn will be too tempting for a president to use.” [14] We suffer from both of these conditions today: We’ve never really absorbed the stark lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we’ve failed to extrapolate the devastation of the two comparatively modest nuclear weapons discharged in 1945 to a significant exchange of today’s much more powerful weapons. [21]

For the first time in at least a generation, Americans are confronting not only the possibility of a nuclear attack, but also a 24/7 news cycle transfixed by that possibility. [23] “A militarily plausible nuclear attack, even “limited,? could be expected to kill people and to inflict economic damage on a scale unprecedented in American experience; a large-scale nuclear exchange would be a calamity unprecedented in human history,” the report says. [20]

“A new nuclear policy issued by the Trump administration on Friday, which vows to counter a rush by the Russians to modernize their forces even while staying within the treaty limits, is touching off a new kind of nuclear arms race,” T he New York Times reported on Monday [14] As reporters boarded his plane bound for Chile, Vatican officials handed out a photograph taken in 1945 that shows a young Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders following the U.S. nuclear attack on Nagasaki. [15] The proposed nuclear policy says a more aggressive nuclear posture is warranted because the world is more dangerous, with China, North Korea and Iran cited as concerns. [42]

Faced with the unthinkable–a tragedy equivalent to World War II many times over, and executed in just a few hours, carrying the possibility of ending technological civilization–they created process and documentation as a way of feeling in control. [20] After reductions under a succession of past presidents, the American stockpile is 85 percent smaller than it was at the height of the Cold War. [42] Even just last April, The Washington Post reviewed a book on the American government?s Cold War plans and found the details ridiculous.” [20]

It has been possible to consider the government planning reports of the Cold War with historical detachment or even bemusement. [20] The organization said it believed that over the past year, the greatest risk for annihilation occurred in the nuclear realm, as North Korea’s weapons program progressed “increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region, and the United States.” [30] North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un declared the country had achieved a “historic cause” of becoming a nuclear state, its state media said Nov. 29, after the country tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier in the day. [26] Concern has been raised over a recent U.S. project to replace the nuclear warheads on 2 of the 24 D5 ICBMs carried by Trident Submarines by conventional warheads, for possible use against Iran or North Korea: Russian early warning systems would be unable to distinguish them from nuclear missiles, expanding the possibilities for unfortunate misunderstandings. [32] In brief, the risks associated with a U.S. strike on North Korea are high and have just gotten higher with the North?s progress on nuclear missiles. [31]

“The idea is in a full nuclear exchange, where weapons are not, say, going off in a desert or something, they’re going off on cities or prairies or what have you, a lot of fires are going to be started and those fires are going to put a lot of smoke, just regular old soot into the atmosphere,” Wellerstein says. [26] These teenagers say they are afraid every day that nuclear annihilation will come, if not right away, then in a relatively short time. [24]

As noted earlier, young people are less accepting of the use of force, including nuclear force. [28] Some group differences in attitudes do occur regarding the use of nuclear force, with men and older generations being more supportive. [28] Political generations also differ in their approval of the use of force generally and in the nuclear case specifically (Jeffries, 1974; Pavelchak and Schofield, 1985); there is a nuclear generation gap, with younger generations being somewhat less accepting of the use of force. [28]

Pyongyang has given South Korean reporters a last minute green-light to witness the slated demolition of North Korea’s nuclear test site. [26] Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers cheer while watching fireworks during a mass celebration in Pyongyang for scientists involved in carrying out North Korea’s largest nuclear blast to date.Sept. 6, 2017. [26]

This is a demolition ‘ceremony’ of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test facility, May 25, 2018. [26] The U.N. Security Council responded swiftly to North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test by punishing the reclusive regime Thursday with new sanctions that target the communist nation’s economy and leadership. [26]

Steve Coll joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the escalating possibility of nuclear warfare under President Trump. [43] WASHINGTON, D. C. – On Thursday morning, a scientific group that operates a figurative “Doomsday Clock” moved its hands 30 seconds closer to midnight due to unchecked climate change and nuclear saber rattling between the United States and North Korea. [30] North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear warhead, it said which said the “maniacal recklessness” of young ruler Kim Jong-Un would lead to self-destruction. [26] One of the top stories of 2017 is the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear missile power. [31] A North Korea People’s Army (KPA) soldier stands at the entrance to a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility prior to a demolition ‘ceremony’ May 24, 2018. [26] The reason, after all the noise about how we cannot tolerate a nuclear North Korea, is that we can. [31] North Korea recently testeda nuclear device that could produce the equivalent of as much as 150,000 tons of TNT, he adds. [26]

This does not provide any systematic overview of the problems of nuclear issues; nor does it transmit to young people any sense of how to deal with nuclear issues, how to discuss them with others, or how to understand them. [24] The most influential article was featured in the December 23,1983 issue of Science (the weekly magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science): “Nuclear winter, global consequences of multiple nuclear explosions,” by five scientists, R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, and C. Sagan. [25] I have dwelt at length on the complexities of the issue and on the feelings engendered in those concerned with it because I think these are the issues that any citizen must wrestle with in coming to grips with the nuclear issue. [24] There was no attempt, other than in a qualitative way, to rank order or address the relative degree of their concern about the nuclear issue to other concerns. [24] The way youngsters become aware of the nuclear issues contributes to their helplessness and hopelessness. [24]

The beliefs people commonly report about a nuclear holocaust are bleak, which implies that people should also report some concomitant emotional reactions. [28] Most people now do not expect to survive a nuclear confrontation, in contrast to earlier expectations. [28] His descriptions are eloquent; his conclusions are that it is largely, if not entirely, young people whose parents are upper class and who are involved in the nuclear movement who are deeply concerned about this. [24]

Artists have depicted their visions of the bomb and nuclear catastrophe (Boyer, 1985; Time, 1985b). [28] If we roll the dice enough times, shit happens — Stanley Kubrick’s dark nuclear comedy “Dr. Strangelove” illustrates this with a triple coincidence. [32] “The time for world leaders to address looming nuclear danger and the continuing march of climate change is long past. [30]

He has used tough language against the North Koreans, at some points appearing to threaten a massive, possibly nuclear, strike. [31] North Korean soldiers attend a mass rally in Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang to celebrate the North’s declaration it had achieved full nuclear statehood, Dec. 1, 2017. [26] North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” [30] Well-wishers wave flower bouquets as buses carrying North Korean nuclear scientists and other officials pass by in Pyongyang. [26]

If the worst does happen, know at least that the U.S. has poured millions of dollars into technologies and treatments to help you survive a nuclear event. [29] Figure 1.2 illustrates the rapidity of the decay of radiation from fallout during the first two days after the nuclear explosion that produced it. [25] Residents look up at a big screen TV in front of Pyongyang railway station showing television presenter Ri Chun-Hee officially announcing that the country successfully tested a nuclear warhead earlier in the day on Sept. 9, 2016. [26] Some observers also expected The Day After to have a galvanizing effect on nuclear protest activities. [28] The earlier film Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 1945 had no effects on nuclear policy preferences. [28] The main dangers from an air burst are the blast effects, the thermal pulses of intense light and heat radiation, and the very penetrating initial nuclear radiation from the fireball. [25]

Only once, in Cuba in 1962, did we consider blocking a nuclear expansion with military force. [31] Income and education can influence nuclear force attitudes (Jeffries, 1974), with increases in either leading to decreased support, although this is not found consistently (Milburn et al., 1984). [28]

When China developed nuclear missiles in the 1960s and ?70s, we did not interfere, even though China was going through the tumult of the Cultural Revolution. [31] Nuclear physicists are using film scanners and computer analysis on old bomb test footage to uncover the weapons’ secrets. [29] Wellerstein explains that atomic bombs work by nuclear fission, splitting heavy atoms of enriched uranium or plutonium. [26]

“emergency management has not had to plan for a large scale nuclear event for many years,” Merritt and Tobin said in their statement. [27] Turning to the highly personal, in-depth setting of a clinical approach, some observers report that they, their patients, or both have vivid images of nuclear holocaust (e.g., Nelson, 1985; Pilisuk, 1985; Wolman, 1984, cited in Wagner, 1985). [28] Nuclear nations do indeed have elaborate countermeasures in place, just like our body does against cancer. [32] Conclusions reached from these recent, realistic calculations are summarized in an article, “Nuclear Winter Reappraised”, featured in the 1986 summer issue of Foreign Affairs, the prestigious quarterly of the Council on Foreign Relations. [25] This issue contains a long letter from Thompson and Schneider which further demolishes the theory of catastrophic “nuclear winter.” [25] This discrepancy is preserved by most families’ reported failure to discuss nuclear issues (Hamilton et al., 1985c). [28] These conclusions fit media coverage of nuclear issues well. [28] These areas are the characteristics of the nuclear issue, the feelings engendered in those who become involved, and the implications for education. [24] The questionnaire focused solely on the nuclear issue rather than being a more general inquiry about youngsters’ attitudes about various matters, so that the respondents knew specifically what the investigators were interested in, and this may have affected their responses. [24] The nuclear issue is an issue which reflects intense conflict among experts. [24] Surprisingly, 42 percent reported that they felt they had not been given sufficient information about nuclear issues in school. [24] I also believe that any young person in adolescence who is coming to grips with the nuclear issue must also wrestle with these matters, and they cannot be expected to do so alone. [24] I am deeply concerned that our understanding of the nuclear issue and its impact on youth suggest that it weakens or diminishes the vision of hope for the future of a substantial number of youngsters. [24] From a psychological point of view, the central psychological concomitants of partial and incomplete awareness of the nuclear issue are helplessness and hopelessness, which often lead to inactivity, to paralysis. [24]

Because raging city firestorms are needed to inject huge amounts of smoke into the stratosphere and thus, according to one discredited theory, prevent almost all solar heat from reaching the ground, the Soviets changed their descriptions of how a modern city will burn if blasted by a nuclear explosion. [25] They used a questionnaire with 103 items in which the nuclear questions were embedded in other questions about other areas of concern in order to minimize bias. [24] The USSR’s strategic modernization program continues unabated,” and that the SS-18 Mod 5 can carry 14 to 20 nuclear warheads. [25] A musical performance is held in Pyongyang with the words “Let’s strike the imperialists mercilessly with the same success we had carrying out the 3rd nuclear test” projected on a screen. [26]

The month of June in North Korea is known as the “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” and it’s a time for North Koreans to swarm to war museums, mobilize for gatherings denouncing the evils of the United States and join in a general, nationwide whipping up of the anti-American sentiment. [26] A North Korean soldier looks at the south side while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was visiting the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, March 17, 2017. [26] Korean People’s Army (KPA) lieutenant and tour guide Hwang Myong-jin poses for a photo in front of a hut where negotiations for the Korean War armistice agreement were held in 1953, at Panmunjom near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea Nov. 30, 2016. [26] North Korean soldiers peep into a conference room in the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission Conference Building during a ceremony marking the 63rd anniversary of the signing of the Korean War ceasefire armistice agreement at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea. [26] Men and women pump their fists in the air and chant “defend!” as they carry propaganda slogans calling for reunification of their country during the “Pyongyang Mass Rally on the Day of the Struggle Against the U.S.,” attended by approximately 100,000 North Koreans to mark the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War at the Kim Il Sung stadium, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea. [26] Thousands of people hold up colored squares as they create a giant North Korean flag as they celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice during a performance at the Rungnado May Day Stadium on July 26 in Pyongyang. [26]

Young people and the threat of war: Overview of a national survey in Finland. [24] The threat of war in the minds of 12-18 year olds in Finland. [24]

Military vehicles parade during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on July 27 in Pyongyang, North Korea. [26] Veterans of the Korean War wave to their leader, Kim Jong Un, during a military parade. [26] Students take part in a mass dance event marking the anniversary of the end of the Korean War on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang, July 27, 2018. [26] Students pose for a photo after paying their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the anniversary of the end of the Korean War, at Mansu hill in Pyongyang July 27, 2018. [26] North Koreans rally March 7 at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang in support of a government statement Tuesday that vowed to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War. [26] North Korean soldiers watch as fireworks explode, July 27, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea, as part of celebrations for the 62nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War. [26]

Trump did not use the opportunity to lobby for war or even a limited airstrike. [31] In terms of social class, the threat of war was in the minds of respondents of all social classes. [24] She offered the speculation that peace may be an empty concept for young people, meaning mostly an absence of war. [24] In terms of the open-ended questions, the highest percentage of students mentioned work and employment first (41 percent) and war and peace second (29 percent). [24] The academy was originally created for orphans who lost parents in the Korean War, and currently has 1000 students. [26] This year’s performance was timed to debut for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. [26] North Koreans gathered to offer flowers and pay their respects to their late leaders as part of celebrations for the 62nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War. [26] The Soviet youngsters were more pessimistic about the possibilities of survival if war occurred. [24] At some point, the Western media will catch on and begin to report despite the Trumpian bombast, war is unlikely. [31]

Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports, and as North Korea and the United States continue to trade threats, a nuclear attack is not a complete impossibility. [26] For the first time ever, the organization said its clock setting was swayed by statements from an incoming president – Donald Trump – about the proliferation and the prospect of actually using nuclear weapons, as well as statements he made to oppose U.S. commitments regarding climate change. [30] It?s been just over 70 years since two atomic bombs devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and last time that nuclear weapons have been used in warfare. [26] Attitude surveys ebbed and flowed over the next four decades, peaking after the Russians’ first atomic test, the creation of the hydrogen bomb, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) initiatives, and during the present unprecedented level of worldwide concern over nuclear weapons (Kramer et al., 1983). [28]

° Myth: Overkill would result if all the U.S. and U.S.S.R, nuclear weapons were used meaning not only that the two superpowers have more than enough weapons to kill all of each other’s people, but also that they have enough weapons to exterminate the human race. [25] In each instance, a state in deep ideological opposition to the U.S.–Stalinist, Maoist and Islamic fundamentalist–acquired nuclear weapons and set off an anxious discussion in the U.S. about “fanatics” with the world?s worst weapons. [31]

“And so depending on the parameters you choose, you either come up with the answer of something like the Robock answer — which is it’s actually pretty easy to imagine this occurring, at least on some level, maybe not the full ice age but enough to affect crop failures — or you get some people who say, “I don’t think we have enough nuclear weapons to possibly do it,?” he says. [26] “I think that unless we do something about nuclear weapons, the world and the human race may not have much time left.” [24]

The group issued a series of recommendations that included stopping North Korea’s nuclear tests and refraining refraining from provocative rhetoric about nuclear weapons, and redoubled global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that “go well beyond the initial, inadequate pledges under the Paris Agreement.” [30] Laura Grego, a senior scientist in the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, says that if North Korea were to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, the U.S. would quickly detect the attack using radar and satellite-based sensors, cuing our missile defense system. [26] North Korea said its latest ballistic missile tests trialled detonation devices for possible nuclear strikes on U.S. targets in South Korea and were personally monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-Un. [26]

For examples, it became clear only in 2002 that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the USS Beale had depth-charged an unidentified submarine which was in fact Soviet and armed with nuclear weapons, and whose commanders argued over whether to retaliate with a nuclear torpedo. [32] Men and women have differed consistently, although not dramatically, in their acceptance of the use and risks of nuclear weapons since 1949, with women being less favorable. [28] For many years, the United States has put up with three other countries whom we deeply distrust–Russia, China and Pakistan–having nuclear weapons. [31] It is certainly true that this issue of the immense destructiveness of nuclear weapons and the possibility of the destruction of the entire world is a crucial issue and must remain in the forefront of the issues considered in our democratic society. [24] Striking the U.S. with a nuclear weapon would clearly lead to the North?s rapid destruction. [31] To explode enough nuclear weapons of any size to completely destroy American cities would be an irrational waste of warheads. [25] ° Facts: A nuclear weapon 1000 times as powerful as the one that blasted Hiroshima, if exploded under comparable conditions, produces equally serious blast damage to wood-frame houses over an area up to about 130 times as large, not 1000 times as large. [25] North Korea has sought a nuclear weapon since at least the 1980s, and its program has been pretty serious since the early 1990s. [31] CIA Director Mike Pompeo says North Korea is months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities. [26]

The world will be frozen if only 100 megatons (less than one percent of all nuclear weapons) are used to ignite cities. [25] Only twice has a nuclear weapon actually been used, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [24]

I don’t have the power to control, to say whether to have bombs or not, I don’t have the control to say whether we make nuclear weapons or not. [24] Nations acquire nuclear weapons for all sorts of reasons, and it’s rarely about actually setting off the bomb. [26] Around 22,000 nuclear weapons are in our world today, the United Nations reports. [26] The idea is that file cabinet-sized kill vehicle would maneuver itself and try to run into the incoming nuclear weapon and destroy it with the force of impact.” [26]

Though bombs aren’t the only nuclear threats; last year, hackers targeted a U.S. nuclear plant. [29] For the next five years, Barrett?s team will be using its high-throughput modeling system to help the Defense Threat Reduction Agency grapple not just with nuclear bombs but with infectious disease epidemics and natural disasters too. [29] Pyongyang responded with the threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States. [26] On January 25 1995, Russian President Boris Yeltsin came within minutes of initiating a full nuclear strike on the United States because of an unidentified Norwegian scientific rocket. [32]

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has claimed an “historic” advance in the country’s nuclear strike capability with the successful test of a solid-fuel rocket engine, state media said. [26] Nuclear threats come not from world powers but from rogue nation states and terrorist organizations. [29] While it is difficult to quantify and neatly parcel out the relative effects of these various forces that lead to this pessimism, the nuclear threat and the immense amounts of energy and money expended on the nuclear arms race is a fundamental part of our society and surely contributes substantially to an overall sense of hopelessness and pessimism. [24] Fallout is a delayed effect of nuclear detonation, he explains: For small bombs, the worst of the radiation might fall out of the cloud within an hour or two. [26]

° Myth: A Russian nuclear attack on the United States would completely destroy all American cities. [25] In Lansing, emergency responders are trained in how to respond to nuclear bombs, biological and chemical attacks, and more. [27] A nuclear bomb is “a lot of little pieces that all come together in just the right way to produce this explosion,” Wellerstein says. [26]

How Swedish teenagers think and feel concerning the nuclear threat. [24] People who experience nuclear anxiety may therefore be more vulnerable socially and emotionally (e.g., Escalona, 1982), but the reverse is equally possible: people who are vulnerable for other reasons may then focus disproportionately on the nuclear threat. [28]

Three days later, this paper, that until recently featured accounts of unsurvivable “nuclear winter,” criticized Carl Sagan and defended Thompson and Schneider in its lead editorial, “In Study of Nuclear Winter, Let Scientists Be Scientists.” [25] They showed ” that on scientific grounds the global apocalyptic conclusions of the initial nuclear winter hypothesis can now be relegated to a vanishing low level of probability.” [25] The climate change we are currently discussing pales in comparison with nuclear winter, and the current economic turmoil is of course nothing compared to the resulting global crop failures, infrastructure collapse and mass starvation, with survivors succumbing to hungry armed gangs systematically pillaging from house to house. [32]

Despite the end of the Cold War, the risk has arguably grown in recent years. [32] When the computer scientist began his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, the Cold War was trudging into its fifth decade. [29]

Half (50 percent) of the sample thought that the situation at present would deteriorate through more armaments or world war in the future; very few were hopeful about disarmament as a realistic possibility. [24]

Eventually the Air Force agreed to begin using “unlock codes”–codes transmitted at the time of the launch order by higher authority without which the crews could not fire–on the weapons in 1977. (Even then, the Navy held off safeguarding its submarine-launched nuclear missiles in this way for another twenty years.) [34] Washington dropped two atomic bombs, genetic predecessors of their nuclear offspring, on Japan in 1945. (Before 1914, some people thought gas, the new weapon of mass destruction, would never be widely used in warfare.) [38] Even assuming every component of the system worked according to plan, the idea of initiating a nuclear exchange is obviously irrational in the extreme–a hundred nuclear explosions in and around Moscow? “Would it have made any difference if lots of weapons didn?t go off, or (probably) a lot of missiles didn?t get out of their silos?” Daniel Ellsberg emailed me in response to a query regarding the reliability of the weapons. [34]

When asked how much they think the U.S. spends each year on its nuclear arsenal, most college students had no idea. [33] We have also learned about the effects of nuclear fallout from cancers that occurred years after the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and from cancers diagnosed after nuclear plant meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima. [44]

Following the evaluation of several American nuclear experts, four Democratic senators appealed to (now former) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to (in effect) respond positively to Putin?s appeal. [38] The current state of dread, while entirely understandable, has overshadowed two crucial realities about the threat of a nuclear calamity. [37] The U.S. and Russia, both of which maintain massive nuclear arsenals, are increasingly at odds. [37] Despite witnessing the immediate and enduring horror of those attacks — despite decades of technological advances in nuclear warfare — the U.S. remains shockingly unprepared for a similar assault on its own soil. [37] Fortunately, throughout the decades of confrontation between the superpowers, neither U.S. nor Soviet leaders were ever personally contacted with a nuclear alert, even amid the gravest crises. [34] The ongoing “modernization” (read “replacement”) of the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal that was set in motion by Obama included at least one low-yield bomb. [34] From his headquarters, far from Washington at Offutt Air Force Base, this powerful officer, currently an Air Force general named John Hyten, reigns supreme over the entire U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal. [34] The bill argues that U.S. low-yield options would “increase a likelihood of a nuclear war.” [40] One individual who most certainly does disagree is a man who spent a large portion of his life in the heart of the U.S. nuclear machine and rose to command it all. [34]

The men and women of this command are responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, analysis and targeting.” [34] This is just the toll from a bomb that is puny compared to modern nuclear missiles. [37]

The U.S., however, has always assumed Russia would be able to distinguish between a limited nuclear launch and a large-scale nuclear exchange, even if the risk of a failure for such a distinction is not zero. [40] On visits to the Russian capital during the halcyon years between the Cold War?s end and the renewal of tensions in the twenty-first century, he learned that the Soviet Union had actually developed a “dead hand” in ultimate control of their strategic nuclear arsenal. [34] In the hours and days after a nuclear blast, a massive plume of fallout would unfurl past the city?s borders and up the Eastern Seaboard, scattering radioactive dust on everything in its path: people, homes, farms, animals, forests, rivers. [37] That little has changed in our own day is evidenced by the Obama-Trump modernization plan to annually produce eighty new plutonium pits–the core of a nuclear weapon–at a potential overall cost of $42 billion, even though the United States already has 14,000 perfectly usable pits in storage. [34] On Tuesday evening, rested and relaxed from a 10-day vacation that included 7 days of golf, Donald Trump took to Twitter to needlessly antagonize a capricious despot with a nuclear arsenal. [45]

“For purposes of mutually assured destruction,” he assured me, “if any country were to launch a nuclear first strike on us, all bets would be off.” [34] When the plane did land, at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, it was parked next to a runway littered with nuclear bombs–STRATCOM had been in the middle of a nuclear exercise when the hijackers hit the first tower and was now, while NORAD increased the level of nuclear alert, canceling the exercise and hurriedly unloading the active nukes from their bombers. [34]

In Korea and surrounding areas subjected to the most intense nuclear fallout, the radiation dose to humans may well be higher than that experienced by the 200,000 or so Japanese living near the Fukushima nuclear plant which suffered an earthquake- and tsunami-induced meltdown in 2011. [44] Still others are working to introduce or emphasize nuclear issues in existing classes with high registration, across fields like physics, peace and conflict studies, international relations and political science, and history. [33] Within weeks of a nuclear blast in Times Square, trees and shrubs in Central Park that survived the explosion would begin to grow new shoots. [37]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(45 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

1. (87) Children’s and Adolescents’ Perceptions of the Threat of Nuclear War: Implications of Recent Studies – The Medical Implications of Nuclear War – NCBI Bookshelf

2. (82) Podcast: What Are the Odds of Nuclear War? A Conversation With Seth Baum and Robert de Neufville – Future of Life Institute

3. (76) Adult Beliefs, Feelings, and Actions Regarding Nuclear War: Evidence from Surveys and Experiments – The Medical Implications of Nuclear War – NCBI Bookshelf

4. (43) Nuclear war: What happens after a nuclear bomb is detonated, and more

5. (27) What are the chances of a nuclear war in the next 5 years? – Quora

6. (27) Nuclear holocaust – Wikipedia

7. (24) Ch. 1: The Dangers from Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Facts – Nuclear War Survival Skills

8. (24) How to Start a Nuclear War | Harpers Magazine

9. (23) A Horrifying and Believable Path to Nuclear War with North Korea – War on the Rocks

10. (23) The U.S. Government Commissioned Fiction About a Nuclear Holocaust – The Atlantic

11. (22) US Refusal to Negotiate With Russia Increases Likelihood of Nuclear War

12. (21) All you wanted to know about nuclear war but were too afraid to ask | World news | The Guardian

13. (16) Opinion | False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump?s Nuclear Risk – The New York Times

14. (15) A book predicts Trump’s nuclear war with North Korea — Quartz

15. (15) The Probability of Nuclear War

16. (14) After the summit, the threat of nuclear war remains – The Boston Globe

17. (14) World War III Won?t Be Between a Nuclear North Korea and Trump

18. (12) What a Nuclear Attack in New York Would Look Like

19. (11) Reducing the risk of nuclear war begins in the classroom – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

20. (10) How Trump’s North Korea ‘Options’ Could Lead to Nuclear War Rolling Stone

21. (10) The Risk of Nuclear War with China (2016) | Union of Concerned Scientists

22. (10) Ben Shapiro: Does Trump Pulling Out of Summit with N. Korea “Increase Chances of Nuclear War??

23. (10) The Chance of Accidental Nuclear War Is Growing – Defense One

24. (10) America Is Not Prepared for Nuclear War, Public Health Experts Warn – Motherboard

25. (9) Inevitable nuclear war – New Jersey Herald –

26. (8) The Rising Risk of Nuclear War Under Trump | The New Republic

27. (8) Edge.org

28. (8) Areas in US most likely to be struck in a nuclear attack by Russia – Business Insider

29. (8) Talbot Fisher: Americans prepare for nuclear war possibility – News – The Register-Mail – Galesburg, IL

30. (7) Trump is meeting Kim, so what? We may be headed for nuclear war | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

31. (7) If nuclear bomb hits Michigan: ‘Get inside, stay inside,’ police say

32. (7) Scientists Know How You?ll Respond to Nuclear War–and They Have a Plan | WIRED

33. (7) Talk it Out: Have nuclear war dangers increased under President Donald Trump? | cleveland.com

34. (6) What Are the Real Threats Behind Nuclear War? – Futurism

35. (5) Pope Francis Fears the Possibility of Nuclear War – Truthdig

36. (5) The threat of nuclear war

37. (5) Unproven Allegations Against Trump and Putin Are Risking Nuclear War | The Nation

38. (4) Pope warns world is one step away from nuclear war | Reuters

39. (3) Why Low-Yield Nuclear Warheads Are Critical to Preventing Nuclear War

40. (2) Peace Train: Syria and the chance of nuclear war – Colorado Daily

41. (2) Army Nuclear War Specialist Reveals How to Survive a Nuclear War

42. (2) How a nuclear attack on North Korea would add to global cancer epidemic

43. (1) CDC Prepares for Nuclear War, says not related to NK tensions

44. (1) Nuclear War | The New Yorker

45. (1) “Even Trump Cannot Be That Stupid”: Wall Street Unconcerned by the Possibility of Nuclear War | Vanity Fair